Game 8: Houston Astros @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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3 game series vs Astros @ Marlins Park

Houston Astros
@ Miami Marlins

Friday, Apr 13, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Lucas Harrell vs Ricky Nolasco

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 04/14 7:10 PM EDT
Sun 04/15 1:10 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are looking to recover from a poor end to a three-game set versus the division rival Philadelphia Phillies by facing the league-worst (at least by projections) Houston Astros for a three-game set. More importantly perhaps than even that is the fact that the Marlins will be returning home for the first time since their debut game on Opening Night against the St. Louis Cardinals. The team's six-game home stand coming up is the first one at the stadium, and it should be very interesting to see how well the Marlins draw this weekend with the team returning home for the first time.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Astros ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.471 4.21 4.86 3.38 Nolasco Harrell 0.00 1.71 5.05 .385

Ricky Nolasco is coming off of a great start that came with poor peripherals due to the allowance of two home runs. However, we got the typical strike-pounding Nolasco performance and a decent amount of untimely hits; he did allow two of his six hits with runners on, and one of them was a two-run homer to Joey Votto. However, because he only allowed six baserunners, Nolasco was only minimally hurt by this performance.

Harrell is a relative unknown 26-year old righty who spent most of his minor league career with the Chicago White Sox and is now getting a shot with the shallow Astros rotation. In his first outing of the season, he had a successful seven innings of shutout baseball, striking out four hitters and walking none. He also got over 70 percent of his balls in play on the ground, which seems to be his general gameplan going into tonight's tilt as well.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .362
2 Emilio Bonifacio .305
3 Hanley Ramirez .355
4 Giancarlo Stanton .380
5 Logan Morrison .361
6 Gaby Sanchez .338
7 Omar Infante .307
8 John Buck .300

The Marlins' lineup has not turned in top-notch results aside from three games in the season. The Fish scored just one run last night versus the Phillies and Joe Blanton, and as a team the club is hitting .220/.260/.373, with an OBP that ranks 15th in the National League. Of course, there is still no reason to panic about the offensive performance, but it is something that can clearly explain the Marlins' current problems: the team is simply not scoring any runs.

Notes

- Timothy De Block of The Crawfish Boxes has an excellent interview with new Astros baseball analytics member Mike Fast, a former Baseball Prospectus author and friend of Fish Stripes.

Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Astros 4-1.

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