The Philadelphia Phillies look to keep their hot streak going when they travel to Florida to take on the Miami Marlins in a series beginning Friday. Philadelphia has won four straight and is currently in a tie for the top Wild Card spot in the National League.
The Phillies are currently 43-38 and 4.5 games back behind the Braves in the National League East. In its last 10 games, Philadelphia is 4-6 including winning their last four against the New York Mets. The last time these two teams faced off, the Marlins swept the Phillies in Philadelphia in a three-game series.
Starting for the Phillies on the bump will be 27-year-old right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez. Velasquez is 2-4 with a 4.40 ERA and 54 strikeouts. In his last start, against this same Marlins team, he held them to just one run on one hit over five innings and gave up no walks. While he has had a rough season so far, his last start gives him the opportunity to become the Phillies’ permanent fifth starter in their rotation.
The big news for the Phillies this offseason was the signing of free agent Bryce Harper. While his 55 runs batted in leads the team, his .246 batting average has been a letdown so far this year. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez leads the team in batting average at .284, while Rhys Hoskins leads them with 18 home runs. The Phillies have a better team on paper than the Marlins along with a better record, but after being swept last time, they need to figure out a way to beat this team in this series.
Slumping Further Down
Miami is 30-48 and sitting in last place in the NL East. Over their last 10 games, the Marlins are 5-5 after dropping their last three against the Nationals. They will be at home for their next three games against the Phillies to close out the month of June. The Marlins are just 13-28 in Miami this year.
Elieser Hernandez will be starting for the Marlins in their first game of the Phillies series. Hernandez gave up three runs over five innings in their win over the Phillies on Saturday despite Hernandez not having a part in the decision. The 24-year-old is 0-2 this season with a 4.34 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
The Marlins offense is led by their young rising star at third base, Brian Anderson. Anderson leads the team with 10 home runs and 34 RBI, while shortstop Miguel Rojas leads them with his .286 batting average. The Marlins outscored the Phillies in their last series 13-8 as each game was decided by two runs or less. They will have to play their best baseball to keep winning over Philadelphia consistently.
What to Expect
Although Miami swept the Phillies in their last series, Philadelphia has the better team and will bounce back to beat them and close out the month of June strong. The Marlins don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Phillies in another series. I like the Phillies and the over in a shootout.