The Miami Marlins are in New York on Monday to kick off a brief two-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees. Let’s hope these games can be played because the Yankees had games on Saturday and Sunday that were rained out. They last played on Friday when Aaron Hicks hit two home runs and the Yankees beat the Tigers 8-6 to even their record at 7-7. It’s early in the season, but they are already five games behind the Red Sox.
The Marlins have much smaller expectations this year, in large part because they traded Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, and although he is struggling, he’s still a huge bat in any lineup. Derek Jeter took over for the Marlins and also got rid of many other players, looking to make the team his own. It’s going to be a long season in south Florida and the Marlins are currently 4-10 and already 7.5 games behind the Mets.
Caleb Smith gets the call
Caleb Smith will be on the hill for the Marlins on Monday, looking to get his first win of the year. He hasn’t pitched great, but he’s certainly pitched well enough to have gotten a win so far. He’s allowed three earned runs or less in all three starts, but the problem is he’s only lasted five innings, three innings, and 5.1 innings, and he’ll have to go that far on Monday if he wants to earn the win. He’s now lasted only 13.1 innings in three starts.
His ERA is 4.73 and that’s largely attributed to all of his walks. Batters are only hitting .216 against him, but his WHIP is much too high at 1.58. That’s because he’s walked 10 batters over his 13.1 innings, and that’s going to get him in trouble. Monday will be only his sixth start of his career, so he has time to improve on that.
Tanaka goes for the Yanks
Masahiro Tanaka will be on the hill on Monday for the Yankees, looking to get to 3-1 on the season. He began the season with a win and lost the second game despite pitching well in both games. He then got lucky in his third game, giving up seven hits and six earned runs over five innings, but somehow still earning the win in a 10-7 victory by the Yankees.
Because he was so shelled in his latest outing, his ERA has swelled all the way to 5.19, even though it was just 2.92 coming into the game. His WHIP and batting average against are 1.04 and .239 respectively, both phenomenal, which makes his ERA look more like an outlier. I think he will pitch well in the coming month.
The Miami Marlins are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- 2-8 in their last 10 games on grass.
The New York Yankees are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record.
- 7-1 in their last 8 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.
I’d like to bet against the Yankees right now, but at home against the Marlins is not the right spot. I’ll take the Yanks and assume Tanaka pitches well.