The Atlanta Braves will face another National League East foe on the road this week when they kick off a three-game series with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night. After a rough start to the season the Marlins had a phenomenal month of May, tying them atop the division with the Nationals.
This series will mark the Braves' first trip to the Marlins' new stadium, which features a lot of lime green architecture and has lots of exotic dancers. Yay for lime green architecture and exotic dancers, I suppose. Only in Miami!
The Marlins have some very talented hitters in their lineup, but none are better than Giancarlo Stanton. Still just 22 years old, Stanton is leading Miami with 13 homers, 40 runs batted in and an OPS of .945. And he's done all this after a bad first few weeks of the season.
Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes have left something to be desired defensively on the left side of the infield, but both are hitting well and producing runs for their club.
Speedster Emilio Bonifacio will miss the series due to an injury, which is a big break for the Braves given their struggles against the opposition stealing bases. Omar Infante, who was dealt to the Marlins in the deal that brought Dan Uggla to Atlanta, is having a great season and is hitting .311 entering the series.
Austin Kerns has played sparingly due to injuries and has really provided a spark with his bat, hitting to the tune of a .470 wOBA in 22 games. He hurt the Braves in their first meeting this season and not letting him do the same this week is a must against this hot lineup.
The Marlins are becoming the team many of us figured they would be at the start of 2012. They can hit and have a strong starting rotation, although their bullpen is a bit of a mess.
Start Times and Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET - Tim Hudson (3-2, 4.60 ERA, 3.05 FIP) vs. Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 2.57 ERA, 2.63 FIP)
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. - Randall Delgado (3-5, 4.58 ERA, 4.35 FIP) vs. Josh Johnson (3-3, 4.83 ERA, 2.99 FIP)
Thursday, 7:10 p.m. - Mike Minor (2-4, 6.98 ERA, 5.34 FIP) vs. Mark Buehrle (5-5, 3.53 ERA, 3.97 FIP)