A pair of NL East teams looking to next season continue a series on the diamond down in South Beach. The Washington Nationals are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game set with the Miami Marlins Saturday afternoon. Washington avoided a three-game sweep on the road by the Braves as they pulled out a 3-2 win in the finale of the series Wednesday afternoon. Miami dropped the rubber game of their three-game home set with the Cubs as they were beaten 4-3 Wednesday in the series finale. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the opening game of the series at LoanDepot Park Friday night.
Washington Nationals Looking to the FutureWashington had lost three straight and eight of their previous 10 games before they managed to rally and come up with the victory in the finale of their series with the Braves in Hotlanta. The Nationals entered Friday last in the NL East, 42 games behind the Mets for the top spot. They have been eliminated from playoff contention. On Wednesday, Washington was outhit 10-6 with Joey Meneses (run, two RBI) the lone player with two. Meneses hit his 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, that gave the Nationals the lead for good. Paolo Espino didn’t factor in the decision as he threw four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Andres Machado (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief, allowing two hits with no walks and one strikeout. Kyle Finnegan fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 11th save.
Erick Fedde makes his 25th start of the season as he takes the ball in the middle game of this set for the Nationals. He comes in 6-10 with a 5.29 ERA, a 1.561 WHIP, 54 walks and 86 strikeouts over 114 innings of work on the year. Fedde didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing, which came at home against Miami last Saturday. He threw four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in a game the Nationals went on to win 5-3. In his last three starts, Fedde is 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA, a 1.54 WHIP, five walks and six strikeouts over 13.2 innings of work. Fedde makes his 11th career start against the Marlins in this contest. He comes in 4-1 with a 2.24 ERA, a 1.032 WHIP, 17 walks and 57 strikeouts over 52.1 innings of work against them. Fedde is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, a 0.923 WHIP, seven walks and 27 strikeouts over 21.2 innings in four career starts at LoanDepot Park.
Miami Marlins Try to Prevail at HomeMiami dropped their second straight and their fourth in the last six games as they let a lead slip away late for the second consecutive night against the Cubs Wednesday night. The Marlins entered Friday fourth in the NL East, 33.5 games behind the Mets for the division lead. They have been eliminated from playoff contention. On Wednesday, Miami got two hits from Nick Fortes (run, two RBI) as part of their six-hit attack though it wasn’t enough. Lewin Diaz (his fourth) and Fortes (his eighth) each went deep for Miami in the game. Jesus Luzardo pitched brilliantly but didn’t factor in the decision after going 6.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts. Steven Okert (5-5) took the loss as he allowed three runs (two earned) on no hits with two walks without retiring a hitter.
Sandy Alcantara gets the call for the Marlins in the middle game of this set as he makes his 31st start of the season in this contest. He comes in 13-8 with a 2.37 ERA, a 1.011 WHIP, 49 walks and 188 strikeouts over 212.2 innings of work this season. Alcantara picked up the win in his last start, which came on the road against the Nationals Sunday afternoon. He threw a complete game, allowing one run on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a game the Marlins won 3-1. In his last three starts, Alcantara is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, two walks and 18 strikeouts over 22 innings of action. Alcantara faces the Nationals for the 13th time in his career in this contest. He comes in 5-6 with a 3.43 ERA, a 1.211 WHIP, 28 walks and 51 strikeouts over 76 innings of work. Alcantara is 16-21 with a 2.77 ERA, a 1.067 WHIP, 98 walks and 315 strikeouts over 351.1 innings of work in 53 career starts at LoanDepot Park.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Both teams are out of contention for the postseason as it’s been another long year with injuries coupled with mediocre performances driving the truck. Fedde didn’t factor in the decision in his last start against Miami though he has pitched well in his career against them. The problem here is that he, and the Nationals, are dealing with the likely NL Cy Young Award winner in Alcantara. He has a league-high five complete games to his credit, including the one that he threw last week against Washington. The Marlins are the better team and you have to back Alcantara with his propensity for stifling opposing lineups. Take Miami at home in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Washington entered Friday’s game with the under holding a 68-66-5 advantage in regard to the total this season. The Nationals are 25th in the majors with an average of 3.85 runs per contest and they are 22nd on the road as they put up 3.94 runs per game as the visiting team. Washington has seen an average total of 9.14 runs per game and that climbs to an average of 9.21 runs per game away from Nationals Park. Miami entered Friday having seen the over post a 49-59-3 mark on the season. The Marlins entered Friday’s action tied for 26th in the majors with an average of 3.80 runs per game, though that falls to 3.76 runs per game at home. Miami has an average total of 7.94 runs per game, a number that remains flat at 7.94 runs per contest at home. Alcantara holds the Marlins in check and the Miami bats aren’t great at putting numbers on the board either. Lean toward this one staying under the total.