After a series win against the Cincinnati Reds and a road trip that saw the Miami Marlins go 3-3, the Fish head home to kick off a 9 game homestand over the next 10 days. Miami will start with 3 games against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently residing in 2nd place in the N.L. Central with a 62-54 record. This is an important series for the Marlins as the Cardinals are currently in one of the Wild Card slots and are 5.5 games ahead of Miami.
St. Louis is coming off of a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles in which their pitching was hammered to the tune of 25 runs over the three games. This is great news for the Marlins as they have struggled to push runs across the plate, only once scoring more than 4 runs in the last 8 games. The Cardinals have been treading water so far in August with a 4-5 record this month.
The Fish will face Shelby Miller in game one tonight. Miller has pitched well in his last 4 starts allowing only 5 total runs. While those opponents weren’t exactly dominant with the bats (Dodgers, Cubs, Padres, and Red Sox) neither are the Marlins. Miller is undeniably in a groove and with Miami sending Tom Koehler to the hill, the Fish have their work cut out for them.
Things don’t get much better in game 2 as the Marlins will face Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is still showcasing a sparkling 2.28 ERA on the year and the all-star game starter must be licking his lips at a chance to go against the Marlins’ hitters. Miami will send newly acquired Jarred Cosart to the hill. Cosart will be making his second start since being traded to Miami in a deadline deal. Cosart allowed 4 runs in 5.1 innings pitched in his Marlins debut in which he lost. Those numbers are pretty consistent for Cosart as he has averaged just under 5 runs allowed over his last 5 starts. I anticipate a rough night for the Fish.
To me, it seems the Marlins will be attempting to fight off the sweep on Wednesday night as Nathan Eovaldi takes the bump. The Marlins finally get some respite as the Cardinals send their own Jarred Cosart to the hill in Justin Masterson. Masterson has allowed 5 runs in 4 of his last 5 outings. Meanwhile Eovaldi is coming off of a sparkling 5 hit performance in which he didn’t allow a run over 8 innings. That is 1 run allowed for Eovaldi in his last 15 innings.
The Cardinals are gearing up for a stretch run with the newly acquired John Lackey, but the Marlins will miss him this time. St. Louis is all too familiar with what it takes to make the playoffs and this is the time of the year when they seem to get hot. The Marlins will need some luck and some strong play up and down the lineup if they are going to win back-to-back series.
What are your thoughts on how the series will play out? Let us know in the comments below!