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Game 58: Tampa Bay Rays @ Miami Marlins, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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Current Series

3 game series vs Rays @ Marlins Park

Tampa Bay Rays
@ Miami Marlins

Friday, Jun 8, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
Marlins Park

Jeremy Hellickson vs Ricky Nolasco

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 06/09 7:15 PM EDT
Sun 06/10 1:10 PM EDT

The Miami Marlins are coming off of their first series loss in more than a month, so it is an unusual feeling for the folks here at Fish Stripes. Tonight, the team continues their nine-game home stand with the Citrus Series against our interleague rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays come to town having recently lost a series in New York against the Yankees, so neither team has lit it up lately. Furthermore, both clubs are a little banged up.

Tale of the Tape

Marlins Stat (Rank) Rays
.309 (T-20) wOBA .309 (T-20)
89 (25) wRC+ 98 (12)
3.79 (11) ERA 3.49 (5)
3.49 (3) FIP 3.89 (14)

The Marlins' awful series, both pitching and offense wise, against the Atlanta Braves dropped the team down quite a notch in the rankings. The Fish and Rays have been equally inept offensively, and both teams have been succeeding through their dominant pitching staffs rather than through offensive contributions. For the Fish, offense has come from the middle of the order, particularly Hanley Ramirez (.353 wOBA) and Giancarlo Stanton (.404 wOBA) as of late. For the Rays, who are tied for first in the AL East, offense has been on the back of Matt Joyce (.397 wOBA) primarily, especially with the injury to Evan Longoria.

Stadium: Marlins Park

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

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Rays ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.456 4.35 4.14 4.35 Nolasco Hellickson 2.69 4.60 3.74 .526

Ricky Nolasco has had a rough season so far, but his last outing against Philadelphia was at least promising. He struggled and gave up four runs, but he did strike out five batters in seven innings and kept the Fish in the game after he allowed early runs. Still, this season has been nothing but a downhill spiral for the most part, and Nolasco needs to find the strike-throwing capability he had in the last four years before he can be depended on consistently.

Jeremy Hellickson is the reigning Rookie of the Year in the American League, but so far in his career, he has been fooling his ERA with relatively poor peripherals. This is his second straight season with an ERA under 3.00 and a FIP above 4.00, and for his career he has a 2.95 ERA and 4.41 FIP. The Marlins are hoping he regresses to his peripherals marks and does so starting tonight.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .351
2 Omar Infante .321
3 Hanley Ramirez .354
4 Giancarlo Stanton .385
5 Greg Dobbs .291
6 Austin Kearns .310
7 Chris Coghlan .314
8 John Buck .293

The Marlins reinstated Austin Kearns from the DL yesterday night, sending Bryan Petersen to Triple-A along the way. The obvious benefactor from this is Chris Coghlan, who continues to coast based on his Rookie of the Year performance over players who have performed better than him during the season and in years prior. Kearns will start in left field and likely will hold that spot until Gaby Sanchez is promoted. Sanchez is hitting .275/.464/.412 in Triple-A right now, so his promotion could come soon, in which case Logan Morrison would move back to the outfield to the detriment of the team's offense.

I never believed that, just three years after his terrible 2009, I would clamor to have Emilio Bonifacio back in the lineup. Go figure.

Bold Prediction: Rays def. Marlins 4-2