The San Diego Padres head to Florida to face the Miami Marlins for the second time this season. How do these teams match up this time around?
The Marlins sit at 34-57, dead last in the National League East and 2-8 in their last 10 games. Don’t let their record fool you though — the Fish took the first series from the Friars back in June, outscoring the Padres11-20 in the three-game stint.
San Diego will seek to exact revenge in Marlins Park, hopefully out for blood after stumbling into the second half of the year. If they’re going to make a legitimate playoff push, they need to prove that they can beat up on the bad teams like good teams should.
Unsurprisingly, the Fish rank in the bottom five across the MLB’s offensive leaderboards, including dead last in runs scored, home runs hit, and team OPS.
Nevertheless, the Marlins’ offense runs through SS Miguel Rojas, who’s slashing .293/.348/.369 this season. He’s been red-hot since June, going 48-for-139 since the start of the summer that equates to a notable .345 BA.
Third baseman Brian Anderson also leads the team with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs on the year. He hasn’t been nearly as productive as Rojas though; Anderson is hitting .248/.332/.424 this season but went cold in the last two weeks for a .125/.222/.375 stat line.
This series provides a much-needed opportunity to both regain some ground in the wild card chase and also generate momentum before a clash against the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, though, let’s take a look at the expected pitching battles.
The series opener will be a battle of rookies, featuring Logan Allen vs. Jordan Yamamoto.
Through five starts, Yamamoto is 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA, 0.897 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts. The rookie has impressed in the majority of his starts, throwing a scoreless seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks in his major league debut.
He’s coming off a strong game against the Atlanta Braves where he pitched six more scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. In total, Yamamoto has only allowed six runs through 29 innings pitched, with four of those coming in one game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the Padres, we’ll see Allen get his fourth shot of the year as a starter. After a stellar debut and another win to follow, Allen experienced some growing pains as he faltered in his third start against the San Francisco Giants. He was pulled in the fourth inning after allowing six runs off of seven hits.
In his lone relief appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Allen gave up a two-run homer in the sixth inning, which contributed to the Padres’ only loss in the divisional series. We’ll see if the rookie has been humbled and can bounce back on Tuesday.
Trevor Richards will represent the Marlins as he faces Chris Paddack in Game 2 of the series.
Richards leads the MLB in losses, owning a 3-10 record, .418 ERA, and 1.343 WHIP. The second-year starter has struggled especially as of late, allowing 13 runs in 15 innings over three starts.
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Furthermore, Richards hasn’t pitched six innings in a game since June 8, which was six starts ago. In his last three outings, Richards has thrown 11 strikeouts and walked eight batters for a lowly 1.4 K/BB rate. If the Padres are going to bring the bats, Game 2 seems ripe for the picking.
Meanwhile, Chris Paddack will get his first shot at the Marlins on Wednesday night, coming off of 11 days rest.
After a tough mid-season slump, Paddack has shown signs of his early-season self. 5-4 on the year, the rookie owns an impressive 2.84 ERA and 0.923 WHIP through 15 games this season.
His last outing against the Dodgers was particularly promising, He threw 5.2 scoreless innings, collecting six strikeouts with only one walk.
Paddack has been solid in close games, allowing a .161/.223/.304 slash line to opponents in tie games, as well as a .200/.304/.250 line with two outs and RISP.
The rubber match will pit the Marlins’ Caleb Smith against our own Dinelson Lamet.
Smith is having the best season of his short three-year career, owning a 3.46 ERA and 1.038 WHIP for a 5-4 record with 94 strikeouts. He’s averaging an impressive 10.8 strikeouts per nine with a 3.62 K:BB rate.
He’s coming off a solid outing against the New York Mets, where he lasted six innings and allowed two runs off of three hits; he did walk five batters, though, while striking out six. Smith floundered against the Friars back in May, giving up a first-inning solo homer to Franmil Reyes on the way to a 2-5 loss. One thing to note is that Smith has a 2.87 career ERA at home vs. 5.46 on the road.
Meanwhile, Lamet’s last outing was underwhelming, as he allowed four hits off of five runs through five innings. He did strikeout seven batters while walking only two, though.
His return hasn’t produced eye-popping numbers — Lamet has a 6.3 ERA, 5.81 FIP, and 1.200 WHIP through two starts — but it has been a breath of fresh air for San Diego’s depleted rotation.
He improved considerably over his rookie season too. His ERA dropped more than two runs between the first and second halves of the season from 5.93 to 3.83. In his final 13 games of 2017, Lamet allowed only a .200/.310/.338 slash line to batters.
The Padres at Marlins series will begin on Tuesday, July 16 at 4:10 PM PT/7:10 PM ET.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.