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Series Preview #42, @ Miami Marlins

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After a LONG day in Cleveland (doubleheader AND an extra-inning game), Arizona heads east to face NL MVP contender Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins.

Jason Miller

What's New?

After getting rained out on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks were forced to jam their entire series into Wednesday and managed to get a split from the Indians. In the first game (or, at least we think it was a game. There was nobody there.), there was a surprise pitchers duel between Vidal Nuno and Trevor Bauer, with both giving up just two runs. Just as the game appeared to be headed to extras, Randall Delgado gave the game away in the form of a walk-off home run to left fielder Zach Walters that saw Cleveland win 3-2. It was more of the same in the night cap, with a strong major league debut from Andrew Chafin. The game remained scoreless until the 12th inning, when Tuffy Gosewich drove in what would be the winning run in the 1-0 D-Backs win. The split moved the team's record to 27-29 on the road, and 52-68 overall, 16 games behind the Dodgers for first in the NL West. They are 5.5 games behind the Padres for third place.

The Diamondbacks offense didn't take too much of a hit (granted, they can't fall that far) from a rough going in Cleveland, as they rank 21st in wRC+ (91) and 19th in offensive WAR (11.6), batting .255/.308/.392, with a .308 wOBA. They put the ball in play 74.4% of the time, batting .299 in such situations, which ranks 12th in baseball. The pitching staff is 25th in team ERA (4.31), ranking 22nd in FIP (3.95) and 27th in pitching WAR (6.4). They actually do a decent job of striking guys out, punching out 7.97 batters per nine innings, good enough for 12th in the majors.

Miami comes in with a decent offensive punch (mostly thanks to Giancarlo Stanton), posting the 18th-ranked wRC+ (93) and 17th in offensive WAR (13.3), batting .250/.317/.379 with a .308 wOBA. Playing at Marlins Park has dampened some of their power numbers, as they have the 21st-ranked ISO (.128) with and 18th-ranked slugging percentage (.379). Their pitching star is alright, yielding the 20th-ranked team ERA (3.86) in baseball with a 3.58 FIP (tenth) and 10.4 pitching WAR (17th). They struggle when opponents put the ball in play, yielding the ninth-highest BABIP in baseball (.305).

The Marlins are coming into their series after taking two of three games at home from the St. Louis Cardinals. The four-game set against Arizona is continuing a nine-game home stand that will conclude against the Rangers. Miami is 33-29 at home, and 59-61 overall, seven games behind Washington for first in the NL East. They are 4.5 games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

Roster Moves

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said Wednesday night that the team is likely to option left hander Andrew Chafin to Triple-A Reno before heading to Miami. He did not say which player the club will recall.

Giancarl(OH, NO)

Just FYI, this is what Arizona's pitchers have to face this week:

Have fun, Arizona.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1, Thursday 4:10 PT: RHP Chase Anderson (7-4, 3.06 ERA, 4.42 FIP) vs. RHP Brad Penny  (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 6.93 FIP)

Anderson was stellar yet again in his last outing, giving up a run on four hits over six innings while picking up a win against the Rockies. He has thrown at least six innings and given up two earned runs or less in each of his last five starts. He picked up the win in his last start against Miami, giving up a run over six innings. Penny is coming off of a win in his first big league appearance since 2012, giving up a run on four hits over five innings.

Game 2, Friday 4:10 PT: RHP Trevor Cahill (2-8, 4.86 ERA, 3.52 FIP) vs. LHP Brad Hand (2-4, 4.65 ERA, 4.25 FIP)

Cahill is coming off of his best start of the season, where he gave up three runs (two earned) over seven innings in a win against the Rockies. It was his first win as a starter this year. Hand had a hot stretch (2.28 ERA over 27.2 innings) come to an end in his last start, giving up seven runs on five hits over four innings and surrendering his first career grand slam.

Game 3, Saturday 4:10 PT: LHP Wade Miley (7-8, 4.61 ERA, 4.17 FIP) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (8-5, 2.48 ERA, 3.38 FIP)

Miley bounced back well from the worst start of his career, surrendering three runs on five hits over six innings while picking up the no decision against the Rockies. He's a much better road pitcher, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA on the road this year. Alvarez, who has been the Marlins' best pitcher this year (granted, they lost Jose Fernandez), is coming off of a DL stint. He's 5-2 with a 1.48 ERA at home this season.

Game 4, Sunday 10:10 PT: RHP Josh Collmenter (8-6, 4.09 ERA, 4.18 FIP) vs. RHP Tom Koehler 8-9, 3.86 ERA, 3.96 FIP)

Collmenter threw three innings of one-run ball on Tuesday before his start was washed out. In his last start that counted, he gave up three runs on three hits over six innings against the Royals. Koehler grinder his way through his last start, giving up three runs on eight hits over five innings, but picking up the win against the Cardinals.

Series Pick'em

I think Arizona takes two of the four from this set, with the most likely wins coming in the opener and the final game of the series. Anderson has been our hottest pitcher, and is going against a guy who's stuff we are unsure about at this point. Collmenter has pitched well all year, and could put the Diamondbacks in a decent position to win. I don't trust Cahill for anything good at this point, and Miley simply runs into a poor matchup against a strong pitcher in Alvarez.