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Series Preview: Pirates at Marlins

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Pirates travel to southern Florida this weekend to face the Miami Marlins in a battle of last place teams. The Pirates have had a miserable week, losing seven in a row while going 2-8 in their last ten games. Miami is 4-6 during the same stretch but won their last game.

Both teams have been outscored by a bunch this year; Miami by 65 runs, the Pirates by 88.

The Pirates have been putting runs on the board but the pitching has been very inconsistent and unreliable. They’ve allowed 384 runs this season, by far the worst in the National League.

The Marlins are the weakest offensive team in the NL, so this could be an opportunity to steal back a few wins, so long as the offense can keep crooked numbers on the board. However, the Marlins have a pair of hot starters going in games one and two.

Miami and Pittsburgh are trailing in their divisions significantly, with the Pirates eight games out of first and the Marlins are behind by 14.

Saying that this is a series the Pirates absolutely have to win is an understatement. Miami is a vulnerable team and they have to take advantage.

Schedule

Friday, 7:10 p.m. — Friday, 7:10 p.m. — Steven Brault (2-1, 5.05 ERA) vs. Trevor Richards (3-6, 3.31 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Saturday, 6:10 pm — TBD vs. Pablo Lopez (4-5, 4.26 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Sunday, 1:10 p.m. — Chris Archer (3-6, 5.73 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (3-6, 3.67 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Marlins Notes

Offense

-Of the regulars in the Marlins lineup, Garrett Cooper and Miguel Rojas are by far their best hitters through the last ten days. Cooper (.500 OBP, 210 wRC+) has two home runs and seven RBIs in his last 36 plate appearances. Rojas (.444 OBP, 155 wRC+) is hitting .355 and has struck out in only 11% of his at-bats through 36 plate appearances.

-Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson his hitting just .172 in his last nine games and has produced a -0.2 WAR during that stretch.

-Miami has hit seven home runs in their last 10 games (two from Brian Anderson and Cooper).

Pitching

-26-year old Richards gets the ball for game one. He currently holds a 40.7% hard-hit rate. However, his last three starts have been great (2 ER in 19 IP). Since his appearance against the New York Mets on May 17th, Richards hasn’t given up more than one earned run in any of those subsequent starts.

-Game two will feature Lopez, who will be making his 24th start of his career. Like Richards, Lopez has been pitching really well. Since May 18th (at home against the Mets), Lopez has given up only 6 ER in 28.2 innings. What’s more, his previous three starts show a K/BB-rate of 19/3.

-Alcantara will close out the series for the Marlins. He’s coming off a rough start against the St. Louis Cardinals, where he gave up four earned runs in five innings with four walks and six strikeouts. Alcantara has good stuff but he tends to be wild. He’s walked 3+ batters in six of his 13 starts this season. Back on April 6th in Atlanta, Alcantara walked five batters with no strikeouts in 4 innings-pitched.