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Game Thread 132: Marlins vs. Braves

Looking to close out MLB Players’ Weekend with a bang.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season.

8/26/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Kevin Gausman Braves 151.0 3.99 4.32 7.21 1.9
Pablo López Marlins 53.0 4.42 4.49 7.13 0.4

Today's Lineups

Ronald Acuna - LF Rafael Ortega - RF
Ender Inciarte - CF Brian Anderson - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B Derek Dietrich - 1B
Nick Markakis - RF Starlin Castro - 2B
Johan Camargo - 3B JT Riddle - SS
Charlie Culberson - 2B Austin Dean - LF
Tyler Flowers - C Bryan Holaday - C
Dansby Swanson - SS Magneuris Sierra - CF
Kevin Gausman - RHP Pablo Lopez - RHP

Matchup Summary

We raised the stakes for a random game in the dog days of the rebuild. When all was said and done, a happy ending for everybody involved! Wei-Yin Chen continues to legitimize one of the most impressive Marlins Park single-season performances ever.

Seriously, José Fernández-esque:

Lowest single-season home ERA by Marlins starter, 2012-2018

Player Year G ERA IP WHIP
Player Year G ERA IP WHIP
José Fernández 2013 15 1.19 98.0 0.86
Henderson Alvarez 2014 14 1.60 90.0 1.01
José Fernández 2016 16 1.63 104.2 0.95
Wei-Yin Chen 2018 11 1.86 63.0 1.06
Dan Haren 2015 11 2.71 66.1 1.10
Josh Johnson 2012 17 2.96 109.1 1.16

On the other hand, those of you passionate about securing the best possible 2019 MLB draft position might not find it so amusing. A popular preseason pick to finish with the league’s worst record, the Marlins have totally removed themselves from that possibility with a 5-2 stretch. Sunday marks their final game against the Braves, leaving lots of matchups against less talented competition.

Without further ado, lineup notes:

  • Stud first baseman Freddie Freeman has homered only four times over his past 47 games...but all four of those have come against the Marlins. He remains a darkhorse candidate for the NL MVP award, largely on the strength of his production in this rivalry.
  • The youngest pitcher to appear for the Marlins this season, 22-year-old Pablo López continues to show great promise. Among 165 major league starters with 50-plus innings on the mound, he ranks ninth with a 35.7 percent chase rate on pitches outside the strike zone. That’s slightly higher than Max frickin’ Scherzer!
  • Right-hander Kevin Gausman wasn’t particularly good for the Orioles, struggling with the long ball (21 HR in 124.0 IP). A change of fortune in that department—1 HR in 27.0 IP—largely explains his success since the trade to Atlanta. Unnecessarily large Marlins Park and an opposing lineup without J.T. Realmuto should suit his style.

Thread Question: The Braves are in control of the NL East at the moment, but fast-forward to 2022. Which divisional foe do you think will be the Marlins’ toughest competition by then?