The Miami Marlins close out the first half of the MLB season with a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies from Marlins Park starting at 7:10 p.m. on Friday.
After taking two of three games from the Milwaukee Brewers, Miami hopes to continue its rise toward the mediocrity in the National League East. At 52-40 on the season, Philadelphia presents yet another opportunity for the Miami Marlins to take a series from a team who is in the thick of the National League playoff hunt.
The Marlins are 39-56 this season.
Here is a look at the three-game preview for both teams.
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This is one of those matchups that are once again deceiving. Chen has been productive as a veteran starter in the Phillies rotation. He is certainly a formidable pitcher when facing a Marlins lineup of youth mixed with veteran bats.
Chen has been a better pitcher at home. In his six starts since coming back from injury, he has posted a 1.89 ERA. He has dropped three straight decisions and is looking to bounce back with a win.
Nola has been a pleasant surprise for the Phillies this season. The 25-year-old has 126 strikeouts over the 19 games he has started this season. He is the brother of Austin Nola, who is a shortstop and second baseman for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
Richards looks good in his last start against the Washington Nationals and will take the mound looking for another decision before the break. Richards, a rookie, tends to get lost in the rotation as other rookies have received more publicity. The 25-year-old has 53 strikeouts in the 12 starts he has made this season.
Another case of looks can be deceiving. If there is a pitcher on the Marlins staff who has been the recipient of low run production this season, it is Urena, who has pitched better than his record indicated. This is the second start for Urena since coming back from a should impingement.
Elfin is a big kid at 6-foot-6 and has 67 strikeouts in 12 starters this season. The 24-year-old has turned his season around after a 4-10 record previous to 2018. How will he fare in the final game of the season before the All-Star Game?