Thursday, Apr 19, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT
Jeff Samardzija vs Ricky Nolasco
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It feels good to say this for the first time: get the brooms out, because the Miami Marlins are looking for the sweep.
The Fish have a shot at taking three games out of the three-game set against the Chicago Cubs if they take this afternoon's affair. Standing in their way is former Notre Dame wide receiver and pitching prospect Jeff Samardzija, who looks to continue his so-far-impressive transition to starter. The Marlins will counter with one of their typical daytime lineups and Ricky Nolasco on the bump.
|Proj Win%||Proj ERA||FIP||ERA||Marlins||Cubs||ERA||FIP||Proj ERA||Proj Win%|
The Marlins are sending out Ricky Nolasco, who has actually posted a lower ERA than FIP through two starts. This is by no means a "good" thing, as his FIP is high due to a lack of strikeouts. Nolasco has only whiffed eight men in 13 innings, a strikeout rate of 15.5 percent. Nolasco's control is well-known, but with his profile, he does need to record more strikeouts in order to be an effective pitcher. We will see if he can whip up some whiffs today against the Cubs.
The Cubs counter with Samardzija, who made his first two major league starts since 2009 this season. He has looked great, striking out 13 guys in just 14 innings and walking just one, so the Cubs are hoping he can become the starter they could use to build their rotation for the future. For now, this season will be a learning tool for him, but so far he is using it well.
|Order||Player||Proj wOBA vs. RHP|
As you can see, the Malrins will be running a daytime lineup after the quick night game turnaround. That features a set of players on the team in Dobbs, Murphy, and Hayes that simply are not starter material at the plate. When three of your hitters project at lower than .300 wOBA against right handers, it is an unfortunate problem to have to start them. However, I do commend Ozzie Guillen's attempts to keep everyone rested throughout the season, provided it does not steal too many PA from good hitters like Gaby Sanchez and give them to worse hitters like Dobbs.
Omar Infante is out of the lineup for non-day game reasons, as he is resting a sore groin that has been bothering him for the past week. Infante has been hot so far this year, so here's hoping he comes back shortly.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Cubs 4-3