It's a matchup of first place teams in mid-May, which means baseball bloggers like myself are giddy with playoff expectations! In reality, the Marlins have a far lesser chance of making the playoffs, both due to talent on their respective teams and competition in their respective divisions. The NL East is tight, with the Mets, Braves, and Phillies all within two games and all figuring out a way to get on top of Florida. The NL West race, however, is pretty much over, with only the Dodgers (five games back) challenging the Diamondbacks.
The Marlins were swept by the Reds and took just one game against the Royals this weekend, so they stagger into this series on a 1-5 clip. Arizona swept God's Rockies last week and took two of three from the hapless Tigers over the weekend so they're riding a 5-1 streak. Polar opposites!
Here are your pitching matchups:
- Tuesday: Micah Owings (R) vs. Mark Hendrickson (L)
- Wednesday: Dan Haren (R) vs. Ricky Nolasco (R)
- Thursday: Brandon Webb (R) vs. Andrew Miller (L)
Owings has improved his numbers since last year. His walks are down, his strikeouts are up, and although his homers allowed is up a bit, Owings hits well enough at the dish to make up for a few extra tater tots. I bet the D-Backs take at least two of three in the series; they're OPSing .838 as a team against lefties.