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2022 Series Preview: Miami Marlins @ Houston Astros

The Astros (36-21, 1st in AL West) will play the Marlins (25-30, 4th in NL East) for the first time since 2017. See you at Minute Maid!

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Narrative

Compare the Marlins to a rollercoaster and you will accurately describe Miami’s 2022 season. They had a good April (12-8), an awful May (7-19), and so far, they’re having a promising June (6-3), which includes a three-game sweep against the Nationals from Tuesday to Thursday.

If we had to point out a standout aspect of these 2022 Marlins, it’d be their starting rotation. This team has enjoyed one of baseball’s most solid 1-2 starting duos in Sandy Alcántara and Pablo López. Those two have combined for a 10-4 record with a 1.86 ERA across 149 2/3 innings and are the reason why the Marlins have the fourth-best rotation in the National League in terms of ERA (3.47).

Even though their offense hasn’t been as good as their starting pitchers, there’s been some spark as of late. In June, Don Mattingly’s team is averaging 6.9 runs and 10.2 hits per game, along with an .805 OPS.

Both teams got to this three-game series carrying a hot streak, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Although, they face two completely different scenarios: the Astros have a 9.0-game lead in the AL West while the Marlins try to close the gap in the race for the NL Wild Card.

The last matchup between these two happened in 2017, when the ‘Stros swept the Fish in a three-game series, with 7-2, 12-2, and 3-0 scores.

Last 10 Games: 6-4 Record, 1 Series Swept, 1 Series Split, 1 Series Loss, 11 Run Differential (63 scored, 52 allowed)

W/L Splits: 15-14 at home, 10-16 on the road, 10-18 against teams over .500

Injured List


The Offense

As I said above, the Marlins lineup has been red hot lately, outscoring the Nationals (21-7) and the Rockies (27-21) in two of their last three series. Miami has had different offensive leaders throughout the season, but in the last two weeks, they’ve been lifted by World Series MVP Jorge Soler, Garrett Cooper, and Jesús Sánchez.

Cooper is the Marlins’ hottest hitter right now and has never faced the Astros before. He’s gotten at least two hits in 10 of his 12 games, a span where he’s collected five doubles, a triple, two homers, and 12 runs batted in. Soler has three round-trippers, seven driven in, and nine walks over his last 12 contests. And Sánchez leads the team with four long balls and 10 ribbies in the last 15 days.

At first sight, the Marlins may not look like a dangerous, good-hitting team, but they’ve turned into a pretty decent team that sometimes can make you pay. It’s likely they have Soler available again after taking a day off for precautionary reasons on Thursday due to back stiffness.


The Bullpen

As opposed to recent years, the Marlins bullpen hasn’t been that sharp this season. In fact, one could say their weakest aspect is their relievers staff, carrying a 4.18 ERA that ranks 20th in the Major Leagues. But beyond that, their bullpen has accounted for 10 of the team’s 30 losses and has registered only 12 saves in 20 opportunities, along with seven blown saves.

Even though the Marlins don’t have the worst bullpen in the league, their lack of depth is unquestionable. Steven Okert (2.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 13.0 K/9) and Anthony Bass (2.01 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 8.5 K/9) have been an acceptable lefty-righty combo, but they are not enough for a team with Wild Card aspirations, especially with Anthony Bender on the injured list.

If the Marlins want to win and seriously compete against teams like the Astros, it’s almost mandatory for them to get a couple of nice arms that help secure more wins in the long run.


The Starters

Game 1: Pablo López (RHP, 4-2, 2.18 ERA, 67 K’s) vs Luis García (RHP, 3-4, 3.07 ERA, 53 K’s)

López began the season with a league-leading 1.05 ERA after his first seven starts, but has not won since May 7 and has struggled in his last four trips to the mound, with 11 earned runs and four homers allowed in 23 innings (4.30 ERA, .829 OPS). On the other hand, García has been strong in his last three, with a 2.50 ERA across 18 innings, including two quality starts.

Game 2: Braxton Garrett (LHP, 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 5 K’s) vs Framber Valdez (LHP, 6-2, 2.61 ERA, 55 K’s)

In only 3 1/3 innings, Garrett allowed five hits and four earned runs against the Mariners in his lone outing of the season, on Sunday. He has yet to prove he can be a solid rotation option for the Marlins as Garrett is 2-4, 5.60 ERA in 11 lifetime appearances (10 starts). For the Astros, Framber comes to this game with a five-game winning streak. Opponents have hit for a .557 OPS off Valdez in his last eight starts.

Game 3: Edward Cabrera (RHP, 2-0, 0.75 ERA, 13 K’s) vs Justin Verlander (RHP, 7-2, 2.13 ERA, 73 K’s)

The 24-year-old Cabrera’s been lights out in two outings this year, both quality starts against the Rockies and the Nats, surrendering only three hits in 12 innings. However, his next challenge won’t come easy as he’ll be facing living legend Verlander. JV’s 2022 season is as good as it gets: So far, the 39-year-old veteran allowed more than three runs just once (May 27 vs Seattle). It’s gonna be a pretty interesting pitching matchup.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, June 10th @ 7:10 pm CDT

Listen: Marlins – WAQI 710, Fox Sports 940AM (WINZ) / Astros – KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3 / KLAT 1010

Watch: Marlins – Bally Sports Florida / Astros – ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 2: Saturday, June 11th @ 3:10 pm CDT

Listen: Marlins – WAQI 710, Fox Sports 940AM (WINZ) / Astros – KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3 / KLAT 1010

Watch: Marlins – Bally Sports Florida / Astros – ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 3: Sunday, June 12th @ 1:10 pm CDT

Listen: Marlins – WAQI 710, Fox Sports 940AM (WINZ) / Astros – KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3 / KLAT 1010

Watch: Marlins – Bally Sports Florida / Astros – ATT SportsNet-SW


Poll

Who wins this series

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (5 votes)
  • 66%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (24 votes)
  • 13%
    Marlins Win 2-1
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    Marlins Sweep 3-0
    (2 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now