Game 49: Washington Nationals @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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3 game series vs Nationals @ Marlins Park

Washington Nationals
@ Miami Marlins

Monday, May 28, 2012, 1:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Jordan Zimmermann vs Carlos Zambrano

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing in from right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Tue 05/29 7:10 PM EDT
Wed 05/30 7:10 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are coming off a four-game series split with the San Francisco Giants, but now comes a stretch of games against a couple of division rivals that is going to require some success in order to keep us in the race in the NL East for now. The Fish have pulled off an excellent month thus far, and the team is going for a club record in wins in one month and is two shy of breaking that record, and what better time to do it than against the current division leader, the Washington Nationals. Today the Marlins begin the three-game set against the Nats with an afternoon start thanks to Memorial Day.

Tale of the Tape

Marlins Stat (Rank) Nationals
.306 (23) wOBA .309 (20)
88 (23) wRC+ 92 (20)
3.70 (14) ERA 2.95 (1)
3.43 (3) FIP 3.01 (1)

The Nationals, much like the Giants, have struggled offensively this season, but at least they had reinforcements come in mid-season in the form of top prospect Bryce Harper. So far, Harper has been worth the hype, as he is hitting .287/.376/.525 with good peripherals all around. He has been extremely impressive thus far this season, and he will be someone to deal with in this lineup. Also back in the lineup for the Nats is third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was out with injury and just returned yesterday night.

As for pitching, both of these teams have been at the top of the pitching lists recently, but the Marlins struggled through a tough series in terms of allowing runs against a weak Giants lineup. Nevertheless, one look at the club's FIP shows you that the Marlins are still pitching well. Meanwhile, the Nationals have been the Nationals, and their staff has continued to carry them throughout the season.

Stadium: Marlins Park

Area Dimensions (ft)
Left Field 344
Left-Center 386
Center Field 416
Right-Center 392
Right Field 335

Don't expect much offense, I suppose.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Nationals ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.468 4.24 3.79 2.85 Zambrano Zimmermann 2.47 3.40 3.73 .527

The Marlins will send Carlos Zambrano, who hammered badly in his last start against the Colorado Rockies. He did not walk or strike out a lot of batters, but the timing of his hits allowed was just awful, and he was the unfortunate recipient of a three-run home run by Troy Tulowitzki. It was the second bad start in a row for Zambrano, who also walked five men with only two strikeouts in his start before that versus Cleveland, only to get away with a win because they could not find the holes in the Marlins' defense.

Jordan Zimmermann will go for the Nats, and his second strong season in a row has been quiet compared to the majesty that is Stephen Strasburg. Zimmerman is piling up a Ricky Nolasco-type resume with decent strikeout numbers and low walk totals, and that has led to a good 2012 season and a resume including a 3.61 ERA and 3.56 FIP for his career.

Lineup

We'll post the lineup when it is made public.

Bold Prediction: Nationals def. Marlins 5-2

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