In a season marred by injuries and tragedy, the Miami Marlins will gear up for their final series of the season. Just one day after late pitcher Jose Fernandez was laid to rest, Miami will travel to our nation’s capital to take on the Washington Nationals. Miami lost two of three games to the New York Mets in their final home series of the year earlier in the week.
The team was off on Thursday as they attended Fernandez’s funeral. Another guest was Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who grew up in Miami and like Fernandez is from Cuba. The Nationals (93-66) enter Friday’s game with a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for home-field advantage in the NLDS. The Marlins (78-80) were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to New York on Wednesday.
The Marlins will send Andrew Cashner to the mound tonight, as he looks to end a rather disastrous season with a quality outing tonight. Cashner’s 5.73 ERA is the fifth highest in the NL, and his .293 opponent batting average is fourth highest in the NL. Cashner’s last start was a week ago against the Atlanta Braves, when he allowed one run and three hits while striking out six in five innings pitched.
|Team||Pitcher||ERA||FIP||Zips Projected ERA|
Washington will counter with A.J. Cole, who is 1-2 with a 1.27 WHIP this season. Cole was suspended five games for throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang, but he is able to pitch tonight because he is appealing the suspension. Cole has held opponents to a .231 batting average this season. Washington is expected to be without second baseman and hitting machine Daniel Murphy, who is dealing with a buttocks strain. Murphy is expected to be available as a pinch hitter.
|MIAMI MARLINS||WASHINGTON NATIONALS|
|Dee Gordon - 2B||Trea Turner - CF|
|Derek Dietrich - LF||Jayson Werth - LF|
|Martin Prado - 3B||Bryce Harper - RF|
|Christian Yelich - CF||Anthony Rendon - 3B|
|Marcell Ozuna - RF||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Justin Bour - 1B||Clint Robinson - 1B|
|J.T. Realmuto - C||Danny Espinosa - SS|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Jose Lobaton - C|
|Andrew Cashner - RHP||A.J. Cole - RHP|
Prediction: Nationals defeat Marlins, 3-1