Wei-Yin Chen takes the hill in Minnesota tonight with a 3-2 record, coming off two relatively strong starts in Atlanta and at home against Pittsburgh, where he allowed only three hits 11 combined innings of work. While his strikeout totals, on a per start basis, haven't eclipsed six since his 12 strikeout outing on May 11th, Chen has still be very effective, going five or more innings in each of his starts this year. He mixes five pitches very well, with only his two seamer being a below average pitch this season, per Fangraph's Pitch Values. The Taiwan native has also already made two inter-league starts this year, allowing five earned runs in each, but taking the loss in neither.
Ricky Nolasco on the other hand is a familiar face to Marlin's fans. The 33 year old righty spent the majority of his first nine seasons in the now extinct teal of the early Florida Marlins. This season, Nolasco has seen some success coupled with a string of rough outings in May. That success early in April is remerging, as he has a 14/1 strikeout to walk ratio in his last two starts allowing only two runs in each. Similar to his days as a Marlin, Ricky is still throwing a combination of a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, and sinker, but now has navigated away from his changeup, in favor of increased usage in his slider, which has been his best off speed pitch on the season so far. One of the bigger storylines revolving around Nolasco's connection to the Marlins is that tonight is his first start against the fish since being traded to the Dodgers for three minor leaguers in 2013.
|MIAMI MARLINS||MINNESOTA TWINS|
|Ichiro Suzuki - DH||Eduardo Nunez - SS|
|Martin Prado - 3B||Robbie Grossman - LF|
|Christian Yelich - LF||Joe Mauer - 1B|
|Marcell Ozuna - CF||Trevor Plouffe - 3B|
|Giancarlo Stanton - RF||Brian Dozier - 2B|
|Justin Bour - 1B||Byung-ho Park - DH|
|Derek Dietrich - 2B||Oswaldo Arcia - RF|
|J.T. Realmuto - C||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Miguel Rojas - SS||Byron Buxton - CF|
|Wei-Yin Chen - LHP||Ricky Nolasco - RHP|
- Suzuki will DH and bat leadoff tonight, after Christian Yelich DH'd last night with Suzuki in left field. Miguel Rojas makes his 11th start of the year at shortstop and bat 9th, as Adeiny Hechavarria gets the night off in Minnesota.
- The three minor leaguers traded for Ricky Nolasco were Steven Ames, Josh Wall, and Angel Sanchez. Josh Wall was the only to throw a pitch in a major league system in 2015, posting just under 40 innings for the Pirates AAA club in Indianapolis, with a 2.45 ERA.
- Giancarlo Stanton is still stuck in one of the biggest slumps of his career. He has struck out nine times in his last five games, going 0-for-5 last night with an RBI. He'll bat fifth this time, a spot in the Marlin's order that hasn't netted him a hit this year.
- While splits are often not stats to swear by, they often hold some value. Coming into this game, Nolasco has been much better on the road, sporting an ERA about 2.5 runs higher, with a strikeout dip, and an opponent's batting average 60 points higher at the Twin's ballpark, Target Field.
- In the betting world, this game is basically even as far as the moneyline goes. The Marlins are the heavier favorite at -109, while the Twins currently sit at -101. The over/under is set at 9 runs, with the under being favorited at -125.
Prediction: Marlins knock around Nolasco for a 6-4 victory.