Marlins vs. Nationals

Marlins vs. Nationals | Miami Down 2 Everyday Players

The Miami Marlins are short-handed right now in the everyday lineup and have lost Wednesday’s scheduled starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara to the bereavement list, so it’s not clear who may take the mound in a series finale at NL East-rival Washington, which is favored on the MLB odds.

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Why Bet on Miami?

Two of the Marlins’ best offensive players, rookie second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and first baseman Garrett Cooper landed on the injured list Monday after both were hurt in Sunday’s loss at Philadelphia. Chisholm left in the first inning with a left shoulder contusion following a diving attempt on Bryce Harper’s single in short right field. Cooper departed in the eighth inning after a collision at first base with Travis Jankowski. He has a left elbow sprain.

Though Manager Don Mattingly didn’t reveal timetables for their return, he expects to see both of those players back on the field in 2021 as MRIs didn’t show anything season-ending. Chisholm is batting .251 with 11 homers, 34 RBIs and 11 steals. Cooper is hitting .284 with nine homers, 33 RBIs and a team-best OPS of 845.

“I felt pretty good about it,” Mattingly said. “It could have went differently. I thought it was as good as we could have asked for with both guys, so I really felt a sigh of relief for both of these guys that you’re not going through those crazy rehabs and things like that.”

Shortstop Miguel Rojas will likely hit leadoff most games in place of Chisholm. Joe Panik and Jon Berti will split time at second base. Since returning from the All-Star Break, Rojas has three multi-hit games, including two three-hit games. He’s a career .326 hitter at the Nationals.

It was to be Sandy Alcantara on the mound here, but he was placed on the bereavement list Tuesday and can miss anywhere from 3-7 days. Alcantara, who has made a league high-tying 20 starts this season, is 5-9 with a 3.23 ERA. He has struck out 105 batters and walked 37 in 119 2/3 innings this year.

Miami called up right-hander Luis Madero from Triple-A Jacksonville to fill Alcantara’s spot on the active roster. Madero made his big-league debut in May with a pair of relief appearances on consecutive nights. He allowed five runs, including one home run, in three innings. It likely will be a bullpen day — Madero could start and serve as an opener.

The Marlins are 9-20 in one-run games this season. Among all MLB teams, only the Mets (34) have played more one-run games this season, and are tied with the Diamondbacks for the most one-run losses.

Why Bet on Washington?

Young star outfielder Juan Soto has reached base safely in 31 of his last 33 games dating to June 13. He has a .446 on-base percentage and is hitting .350 with eight homers in that stretch. He ranks in the National League in on-base percentage (1st, .420), walks (T1st, 61), OPS (5th, .933), average with runners in scoring position (6th, .359), batting average (6th, .301) and runs (8th, 62).

In his last 26 games, Josh Bell is hitting .315 with four doubles, five home runs, 20 RBI, 10 walks and 14 runs scored. He’s hit safely in 21 of the 26 and has reached base safely in 24 of 26 (.382 OBP). Bell has struck out just 14 times during the 26-game stretch and has just eight strikeouts in 70 plate appearances dating to June 27.

The Nats remain without third baseman Starlin Castro, catcher Yan Gomes and outfielder Kyle Schwarber. Castro is on administrative leave while MLB investigates an alleged domestic violence incident. Castro also was investigated for sexual assault back in 2012, although prosecutors ultimately declined to charge him. Schwarber is out with a right hamstring strain and not close to a return. Gomes is out with a strained oblique. Backup Alex Avila also is out, so Tres Barrera has handled the bulk of the catching duties.

It’s Erick Fedde (4-7, 5.32) on the mound. Fedde was shelled for six runs over 1 1/3 innings last Friday in a loss to the Padres. Fedde couldn’t locate the strike zone, handing out four free passes. Fedde ran into trouble when five of the first seven batters he faced reached base in the first inning (three singles, one walk, one fielder’s choice). In the second, his control disappeared with three walks, and reliever Andres Machado allowed all three inherited runners to score.

Fedde now has a 5.32 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 60:33 K:BB across 66 innings in 14 starts. His spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy when Stephen Strasburg (neck) or Joe Ross (elbow) can return from the injured list.  Fedde’s last start against the Marlins came on Sept. 18, 2020 at Miami (6.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 6 SO).

Game Trends
  • Marlins are 2-5 in their last 7 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Marlins are 9-4 in their last 13 Wednesday games.
  • Nationals are 36-17 in their last 53 Wednesday games.
  • Nationals are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. National League East.
  • Marlins are 13-40 in the last 53 meetings in Washington.
  • Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Washington.
Expert Prediction
  • Nationals 5, Marlins 4

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