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Marlins v Dodgers: Game 20 Thread

Justin Nicolino and the Marlins look to lock up series versus Scott Kazmir and the Dodgers

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Is it any coincidence that the Miami Marlins are 5-1 in games this year where slugger Giancarlo Stanton has homered? In his 74 games played last season, he managed to homer in three straight games only once. Riding a 3-game homer streak into tonights battle is undoubtedly a good sign that Stanton has found his swing in the first month of 2016.

Here is a great image of Stanton's followthrough, in the background of Kershaw, visibly upset with his pitch location, kneeling on the pitcher's mound in disgust...

MLB.com - Screengrab
Team Starter ERA FIP 2016 ZIPS Proj. ERA
LAD Scott Kazmir 6.63 6.05 3.66
MIA Justin Nicolino 3.60 (AAA) 4.35 (AAA)

4.57 (Steamer)

Tonight's pitching matchup features 23 year old lefty Justin Nicolino starting in place of the struggling Jared Cosart. The positive sign from Nicolino's four AAA starts this year is that he has gone 6 or more innings in each, but his peripherals (13:5 K:BB ratio and 4.35 FIP), show there is still some room for improvement. Will he be as effective as fellow lefty Adam Conley? I would guess not, but will he be a step up from Jared Cosart? More than likely.

In 2015 Nicolino mixed his pitches pretty well...

56.2% Fastball

18% Cutter

17.8% Changeup

8% Curveball

As I have not gotten the chance to see any of his AAA starts, I will be looking to see if this mix is consistent to last year, as well as if his velocity on any of his pitches has changed from a year ago.

Scott Kazmir on the other hand has been struggling himself, as he sits on an extremely inflated HR/FB % (21.7% as opposed to his 9.5% career average). His only effective pitch this year has been his slider, which is an odd change from last year, where his three other primary pitches were most effective and his slider lacked bite.

Today's Lineups

MIAMI MARLINS LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Dee Gordon - 2B Enrique Hernandez - LF
Martin Prado - 3B Yasiel Puig - RF
Christian Yelich - LF Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
Giancarlo Stanton - RF Justin Turner - 3B
Marcell Ozuna - CF Corey Seager - SS
J.T. Realmuto - C Howie Kendrick - 2B
Chris Johnson - 1B A.J. Ellis - C
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Trayce Thompson - CF
Justin Nicolino - LHP Scott Kazmir - LHP

Notes

  • A.J. Ramos has pitched three consecutive games, earning himself a save in each. If a save situation arises tonight, it is likely that Don Mattingly will go to set up man David Phelps to conserve Ramos in the first month of 2016. Ramos was never used four days in a row in 2015 and was used on three consecutive days three times last year.
  • If Giancarlo homers tonight, it will be the second time in his career he has homered in four consecutive games. The first time came back in 2011 when homered, oddly enough, against two other NL West teams - the Rockies and Giants.
  • Another note on Stanton - he rakes at Dodger's Stadium. From 2013 through 2015, among ballparks he has accrued 20 at bats or more in, Dodger's stadium ranks first in regards to average - .455. (Don't put too much stock in this but it is still an interesting note).

Bold Prediction: Marlins defeat Dodgers 8-4

Poll

Let's have some fun - How many Home runs does Stanton hit tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    2+
    (2 votes)
  • 58%
    1
    (7 votes)
  • 25%
    0
    (3 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now