As crazy as it may seem, the Marlins have not been swept in a series since April 17th, when the Braves took three in a row from them at Marlins Park. While this excludes a short, two game trip to Detroit in late June, the feat is one to be proud of among Marlins fan, as the Fish currently hold a half game lead on the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card.
Facing off will be Tom Koehler and veteran John Lackey.
|Team||Starter||ERA||FIP||2016 ZIPS Projected ERA|
Lackey made his major league debut in 2002 with the Angels and has put together a long, storied career. While he sports a 3.90 career ERA, he has 173 wins to 143 losses lifetime and will always be known as a 'gamer', notorious for his vocality on the mound to umpires and players alike. Coming off arguably the best season of his career with the Cardinals where he put up a 2.77 ERA over 218 innings, this season, he migrated to the rival Cubs, and has done very well, with the highest K/9 of his career to go with an 8-7 record. He makes up one of the best starting rotations in baseball, and will likely pose a serious threat come the postseason, with his tendency to step up during big games.
Tom Koehler's season hasn't been nearly as good. Sitting on a 4+ ERA with a lack of control (4.26 BB/9), Koehler has actually strung together two fantastic starts in a row, both versus the weak Philadelphia Phillies. This matchup against the Cubs is a very different animal as they possess one of the better lineups in all of the league from top to bottom. Add to that a revamped bullpen, now featuring Aroldis Chapman and Joe Smith, and you have a team poised to nab home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Marlins need a win here to keep pace in the National League race.
Ichiro is of course only two hits away from 3,000 and what better ballpark to get the feat done in - besides Miami - then historic Wrigley Field.
|MIAMI MARLINS||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Dee Gordon - 2B||Dexter Fowler - CF|
|Martin Prado - 3B||Kris Bryant - 3B|
|Christian Yelich - LF||Anthony Rizzo - 1B|
|Giancarlo Stanton - RF||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Marcell Ozuna - CF||Willson Contreras - LF|
|Derek Dietrich - 1B||Jason Heyward - RF|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Miguel Montero - C|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Javier Baez - SS|
|Tom Koehler - RHP||John Lackey - RHP|
Prediction: Marlins are swept for the first time since mid-April, lose 5-2