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Braves Head South To Face Struggling Miami Marlins

The Braves and Marlins meet for a three-game series in Miami this week.

July 5, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
July 5, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Many baseball experts around the county picked the new-look Miami Marlins to win the National League East in 2012. With the additions of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell to a roster that was already pretty decent, there was a lot to like about the club.

With the month of May notwithstanding, this year's Marlins team has been a huge disappointment. They'll enter Monday's three-game series with the Atlanta Braves with a record of 44-52 and 12.5 games back of the Nationals. And if things weren't bad enough, star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is out for the next few weeks with an injury.

These struggles have led many to believe the Marlins could be sellers at the trade deadline. For a team looking to promote a new mindset in a new city and stadium, that would be an awfully tough move for ownership to make.

The Braves swept their only series at the new Marlins Park in June. After a rough end to their previous series in Washington, they'll need to rebound on the road against a vulnerable team.

Here are the start times and pitching matchups for the series.

Monday, 7:10 p.m. EST - Mike Minor (5-6, 5.69 ERA) vs. Josh Johnson (5-7, 4.35 ERA)

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. - Tim Hudson (8-4, 3.70 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (9-9, 3.29 ERA)

Wednesday, 12:40 p.m. - Tommy Hanson (10-5, 4.50 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (8-8, 4.55 ERA)

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.