Game 83: Miami Marlins @ St. Louis Cardinals, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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The last time the Miami Marlins met the St. Louis Cardinals, we were treated to an agonizing, late-innings defeat and a fun night out with the folks of Viva El Birdos that also happened to lead to a win. This time, we are visiting the defending champions for a three-game set before we take some time off for the All-Star Break. The Fish are starting the series with a rough matchup, with the mediocre Ricky Nolasco facing the mediocre-except-against-us Jake Westbrook.

Tale of the Tape

Marlins Stat (Rank) Cardinals
.307 (T-21) wOBA .335 (4)
89 (T-24) wRC+ 112 (T-1)
4.23 (T-21) ERA 3.97 (14)
3.84 (11) FIP 3.75 (6)

It's a sad time when you come to the realization that your team is tied with the Houston Astros for hitting. Then you realize your team just acquired a Houston Astros player to complete this prophecy. Man, this season has not gone according to plan.

Stadium: Busch Stadium III

Area Dimensions (ft)
Left Field 336
Left-Center 375
Center Field 400
Right-Center 375
Right Field 335

Five-Year Run PF*: 0.97
Five-Year Home Run PF*: 0.91

*Denotes five-year regressed park factors as calculated by Patriot here

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Cardinals ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.450 4.40 4.10 4.62 Nolasco Westbrook 3.91 3.66 4.31 .460

Nolasco is coming off of two of his best starts of his season, and so we have to be encouraged that he may turn things around. In his last time out, he dominated the Philadelphia Phillies to the tune of six strikeouts in seven innings and only two runs allowed. Also, he did not walk a man, which is pretty important to the success of Nolasco on the mound. Nolasco's average velocity was up a little over his last two starts, which makes sense given the relative success he was having. In his last outing, it was a hair above 90 mph for his fastball, which is a decent amount better than what he had been doing for much of the year.

Jake Westbrook had one of his lesser starts against two rotations ago, going six innings and giving up two runs without a strikeout to his name. His MO has been well-known for years, and it fits perfectly with the Dave Duncan philosophy of ground balls, ground balls, and more ground balls. Westbrook hasn't changed any of his game since coming to St. Louis, and it is working about as well as expected for the most part for him.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .349
2 Hanley Ramirez .346
3 Carlos Lee .322
4 Logan Morrison .349
5 Justin Ruggiano .312
6 Greg Dobbs .289
7 Omar Infante .313
8 John Buck .293

This is the fourth straight game missed by Giancarlo Stanton, who continues to nurse a knee injury in which, upon MRI imaging, revealed "loose bodies." I'm not a doctor yet, but I'm enough of a doctor to know that things shouldn't be loose in there. It doesn't sound so serious that he might miss major time, but when Corey Dawkins of Baseball Prospectus says something like this in his latest Collateral Damage piece.

Giancarlo Stanton believes there is a chance he will have surgery over the All-Star break to remove the loose body from his knee in an attempt to minimize his time lost.

That is not a statement that inspires confidence. It is still wait-and-see with Stanton.

Bold Prediction: Cardinals def. Marlins 4-1

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