Monday, Apr 1, 2013, 1:05 PM EDT
Ricky Nolasco vs Stephen Strasburg
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.
The Miami Marlins are going to begin the 2013 regular season this afternoon, and their opponent is sadly going to be one of the most difficult the squad will have to face this season. The Marlins open up their season series with the heavily favored Washington Nationals, and the pitching matchup only reflects just how lopsided this season series will be. The Fish will throw out Ricky Nolasco, while the Nationals counter with one of the best pitchers on the planet, ace Stephen Strasburg.
The Marlins are going to use Ricky Nolasco as their ace. Ricky Nolasco has a career ERA of 4.49 and has not had a strong season since his 2008 breakout campaign. Stephen Strasburg has a fastball that sits 96 mph and may be the most talented pitcher alive. Last year, he had an innings cap on him and still was dominant, and this season, the kid gloves are off. This should not be a fun matchup for the Fish.
|Proj wOBA vs. RHP
Manager Mike Redmond has already made a number of egregious errors in writing this very lineup card. Starting at the top, Chris Coghlan is inexplicably getting the starting nod, as the team will platoon Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano until "one player wins the job." This is confusing because Chris Coghlan has done nothing in the past three years to earn a share of a starting job, while Justin Ruggiano is both a better defender and had a .390 wOBA last season. A platoon means that Coghlan will get the majority of the starts as a left-handed batter, which means that Marlins fans may have to spend another month shaking their heads as Coghlan misplays his position and flails at the plate while knowing the team is intentionally hiding a better option on the bench.
Second, Placido Polanco is batting cleanup. This is not "unconventional" so much as it is "wrong." There are many better options on the team than Polanco to bat in that position.
Third, batting Kotchman behind most of these players seems to be a mistake, as Kotchman is actually one of the team's best hitters versus right-handers. Overall, the lineup is a weakly-written one, although at least there is an effort to include most of the team's best hitters in the top five slots. Polanco's positioning is just so awful that it is difficult to get behind the rest of the lineup.
- Remember, put in your Ichthyomancy picks for today's game here. Check out our Ichthyomancy rules article and learn how to play, then make your selections! Remember, playing Ichthyomancy gives you an infinitely better chance of winning something than the Marlins have in today's game!
- Remember to stick around on the game thread for today's game as well. Come discuss Marlins baseball with your fellow fans!
- I, however, will not be able to attend this afternoon's game thread, which is highly disappointing for me. I will be at work until 7 pm tonight, but I will be back to provide a game recap on the entire Opening Day affair. Enjoy, Fish Stripers!
Bold Prediction: Nationals def. Marlins, 5-1