Miami Marlins Series Preview: Home Run Derby Practice for Giancarlo Stanton in Cincinnati?
By Ehsan Kassim
Jun 14, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (28) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
MM: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
MW: The Marlins are scheduled to see Mike Leake, Anthony DeSclafani, and Michael Lorenzen this weekend.
Leake is certainly known more for his “stuff” than striking people out. He throws a lot of sinkers and cutters, resulting in a lot of ground balls (his ground ball rate this season is 52.4 percent). After a hot start this year, Leake has regressed a bit and is 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.26 WHIP overall. One of his biggest issues has been with the long ball, as he’s allowed 13 of them this season, 12th most in baseball.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with DeSclafani. He has a fastball that can touch 96 mph on the radar gun, but he hasn’t posted high strikeout numbers this year. He’s also walking more batters than he did during his minor league career, but I think his BB% will come down with more major league experience. “Disco” has thrown some of his best baseball lately, allowing 10 runs over his last five starts (32.2 innings).
Lorenzen is one of the rookie pitchers the Reds have had to rely on after the injury to Homer Bailey and the trades of Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon in the offseason. He can crank it up to 97 mph, but like DeSclafani, doesn’t strike out a ton of hitters. He’s had the ups and downs that most rookies do, but has held his own for the most part. His biggest issue has got deep into games, as his high walk rate tends to keep his pitch count high, but he’s shown good poise on the mound and does well to work out of jams. He’s 2-2 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the year.
MM: How do you see the series playing out? Any bold predictions?
MW: Obviously the Reds are going to get the sweep, right? Looking at the numbers, it appears the Reds and Marlins are pretty comparable teams. The Reds’ have scored 265 runs this season while the Marlins have scored 264, and the Marlins’ pitching staff has a slightly lower season ERA (4.01 to 4.07). After a glance over the standings, I see the Marlins have struggled on the road much like the Reds have, so that could be to the advantage of the home team this weekend. I’ll go on record and say the Reds take two out of three.
I’ll go with three bold predictions:
1) Giancarlo Stanton hits at least three home runs in this series (is that even a bold prediction at this point?). In tiny Great American Ball Park, his unbelievable power should be on full display.
2) Anthony DeSclafani tosses a complete game gem to beat his former team on Saturday.
3) Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon combine for seven steals this weekend.
That just about does it for our Reds series primer. A big thanks to Matthew Wilkes for taking the time to answer our questions, and make sure to check out Blog Red Machine for all your Cincinnati Reds coverage. You can follow Matthew and Blog Red Machine on Twitter as well.
Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!