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Marlins vs. Pirates: Game 53 Thread

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Stanton returns to lineup, batting 5th, as Conley hopes to bounce back

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A partial sigh of relief can be had for Marlins fans across the baseball universe, as Giancarlo Stanton is back in the lineup tonight, batting fifth, and facing the Pirate's lefty Jon Niese, whom Stanton owns in his career (.414 average, 29 ABs, 4 HRs).

Here is the pitching matchup for the night.

Team Starter ERA FIP ZIPS Projected ERA
PIT Jon Niese 4.42 5.49 4.51
MIA Adam Conley 4.15 3.70 3.95

With Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow knocking on the door to Neal Huntington's office, the Pirates have a few rotation pieces that could potentially fall when either of those prospects is deemed ready by the organization. While John Locke and Juan Nicasio are the frontrunners, Jon Niese has only recently shown his will to hang in the rotation of a team currently seven games over the .500 mark in the National League. His last three starts have resulted in two earned runs or less, and he has gotten through six innings or more in each. While still prone to blow-ups now and again, Niese seems to be settling in as he faces a Marlin's offense that now looks the part, with all of its deadly weapons healthy.

Adam Conley's season on the other hand has shown a lot of parity, with four starts allowing one earned run or less, and four allowing four earned runs or more. After a scary seven walk game two starts ago, Conley got back on track last week, but was only able to go 4.1 innings, giving up far too many hits to call his outing a positive one. The Marlin's lefty is probably one of the biggest pieces to watch in this game, as his control will have to be on in order for him to cut down a very good on-base team in the Pirates.

Today's Lineups

PITTSBURGH PIRATES MIAMI MARLINS
Jordy Mercer - SS J.T. Realmuto - C
Andrew McCutchen - CF Martin Prado - 3B
David Freese - 3B Christian Yelich - LF
Starling Marte - LF Marcell Ozuna - CF
Francisco Cervelli - C Giancarlo Stanton - RF
Josh Harrison - 2B Chris Johnson - 1B
Sean Rodriguez - RF Derek Dietrich - 2B
John Jaso - 1B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Jon Niese - LHP Adam Conley - LHP

Notes

  • Gregory Polanco is going to have an X-ray on his foot. While not much information is known about the situation, it seems to stem from a pitch he fouled off himself last night. Polanco is emerging as a top outfielder in baseball with 8 HR, 7 SB, and a .310 average in 50 games thus far - a breakout season indeed.
  • Chris Johnson is batting 6th and playing first base in favor of the lefty Justin Bour. Johnson is batting .188 versus left handed pitching in 32 at bats.
  • The betting world is relatively split on this matchup, as the Marlin's money line is -116, while the Pirates sit at +106. The over/under for the game sits at 8.5, with the over slightly favored.

Bold Prediction: Marlin's righty bats beat up Jon Niese en route to a 6-4 win.