Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Miami Marlins May 17-19, Games 42-44

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May 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Heath Bell celebrates after defeating the Atlanta Braves 5-3 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins have now lost five straight games and eight of their last ten after being swept by the Cincinnati Reds. The Marlins 11-30 mark is tied with the Houston Astros as the worst in all of baseball. This should come as a surprise to no one.

The Marlins will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game series this weekend. The D-Backs have won two straight games and seven of their last ten. Arizona is currently in second place in a tough NL West division, just one game behind the defending world champions.

The two teams are only separated by a meager 12 games in the wild card chase.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Miami Marlins  May 17-19, Games 42-44

Standings
TEAMSTANDINGSWLPCT.GBL 10STRK
Cincinnati2nd NL Central2318.56117-3W 2
Miami5th NL East1130.26811.52-8L 5

Stadium: Marlins Park

Five-year Run PF*: N/A
Five-year HR PF*: N/A
Stadium Dimensions:
Left field line—340 ft.
Left-center field—384 ft.
Center field—416 ft.
Right-center field—392 ft.
Right field line—335 ft.

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

2013 Season Statistics

IPERAFIPRedsDateMarlinsIPERAFIP
50.02.703.68CahillMay 17Slowey49.12.553.41
48.05.633.75McCarthyMay 18Koehler16.13.313.88
48.03.753.96MileyMay 19Nolasco53.14.393.87

Friday, May 17th: Trevor Cahill vs Kevin Slowey

After posting a strong 2012 season with the D-Backs, Cahill is on track to do so again in 2013. Arizona acquired Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow last offseason from the Oakland Athletics for prospects Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook, and Collin Cowgill. Cahill features a cutter, which has been a key for him getting hitters out, as it is effective against both righties and lefties. Cahill struck out five and walked four while giving up one run on three hits over five innings in a losing effort Saturday against Philadelphia.

Regression to the mean was the theme for Slowey’s last start. After getting off to an extremely hot start to begin the season, Slowey was met by a tough outing against the Dodgers. Slowey allowed five runs over 4.2 innings on 11 hits. He walked three but was unable to record a strikeout. The Marlins hope his stuff is better on Friday night.

Mar. 12, 2013; Phoenix AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy (32) pitches in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports Images

Saturday, May 18th: Brandon McCarthy vs Tom Koehler

McCarthy received a scare near the end of the 2012 season as he took a line drive off his head. Since then, Brandon has recovered nicely and is back to pitching. He has always been one of my favorite pitchers to watch and the fact that he is a player into sabermetrics makes him that much cooler. McCarthy has not had much luck in 2013, as his 5.63 ERA is not a great indicator of how he has pitched. His 3.75 FIP and impressive K:BB ratio better tell how he has pitched in 2013. McCarthy pitched eight shutout inning against the Phillies Sunday, but the bullpen was unable to hold onto the lead.

Koehler stepped into the Marlins rotation for the struggling Wade LeBlanc and did alright in just his second major league start. Koheler allowed just two earned runs, but struggled to keep runners off base all games, as he surrendered seven hits over five innings against the Dodgers. Koehler also walked one hitter and struck out just one. Koehler needs to be a bit stronger in his third career start, second of the season.

Sunday, May 19th: Wade Miley vs Ricky Nolasco

Miley showed the Marlins exactly why he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting last season when he faced off with the Fish. In 14 1/3 innings, Wade struck out 11 Marlins hitters and did not surrender a single run. The Marlins are hopeful to catch the Miley that surrendered seven runs (six earned) over five innings, while notching just one strikeout against the Atlanta Braves on Monday.

Nolasco pitches the finale for the Fish. Nolasco continued his up-and-down 2013 season as he yielded six earned runs on seven hits over 5 innings pitched in a loss to the Reds. In his previous start before that, Nolasco pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits against the Padres. He racked up nine strikeouts in that start. Nolasco will look to bounce back against a team he has thrown over 50 inning against and owns a 4.62 ERA against.

Bold Prediction: The Diamondbacks come into Miami and take two of three from a frigid cold Marlins team. The Marlins offense only puts up eight runs in the three game series, but their pitching keeps the games close.

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