3 game series vs Red Sox @ Marlins Park
WP: Josh Johnson (4 - 4)
SV: Heath Bell
LP: Josh Beckett (4 - 7)
|4 - 1 win|
WP: Clay Buchholz (7 - 2)
SV: Alfredo Aceves
LP: Mark Buehrle (5 - 7)
|1 - 2 loss|
The Miami Marlins are looking for the series win tonight versus the Boston Red Sox. The team is coming off a disappointing offensive performance in which they could not deliver with runners on third base (particularly Jose Reyes). The Fish have a tough road against them, as the Red Sox are throwing out a promising young lefty starter who has played decently thus far this season. The Marlins are countering with one of their less successful starters in 2012, a starter who is regressing in the wrong way.
|Proj Win%||Proj ERA||FIP||ERA||Marlins||Red Sox||ERA||FIP||Proj ERA||Proj Win%|
The Marlins are going with Ricky Nolasco for his 13th start of the season. This is by far Nolasco's worst season as far as peripheral performance is concerned, as he has his worst strikeout and and walk rates since 2007. Nolasco has lost much of his strike-throwing skill that made him the team's best starters in 2008 and one of its most enigmatic from 2009 to 2011. Now, he is not enigmatic because he is producing exactly as his peripherals would suggest, unlike in years past.
Felix Doubront is an interesting 24 year-old lefty who has flashed some signs of brilliance this season. His 4.34 ERA is not necessarily impressive, but his 3.96 FIP and 3.44 SIERA suggest that he has not performed as well as his peripherals would suggest. He has struck out 24.6 percent of batters faced, and he is suffering from a 15 percent rate of homers per fly ball. It is less likely that he will give up long bombs in our spacious park, so that might take away the Marlins' best chance of beating him offensively.
|Order||Player||Proj wOBA vs. LHP|
Because the Fish are facing a lefty, the team threw out a couple of the club's hottest right-handed backup bats. Donovan Solano and Justin Ruggiano have made an impact in the small sample from this season, and so manager Ozzie Guillen figures to go with them against lefties and avoid struggling players like Chris Coghlan and Logan Morrison. Of course, this may be helping to stunt Morrison's growth as a hitter by giving him more time on the bench instead of letting him work through his swing.
John Buck is also getting the night off, much to the elation of many Marlins fans who are ready to toss Buck into the scrap heap for his poor performance thus far this year. Brett Hayes, who has actually hit just as poorly (.258/.292/.339, .262 wOBA) as Buck (.163/.299/.279, .265 wOBA), and Hayes projects worse than Buck does. But when a player like Buck struggles as badly as he does, a couple more days off may not hurt, and it is not as if either hitter was likely to light the world on fire on anything with their performance.
Bold Prediction: Red Sox def. Marlins 5-2