Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Venue: loanDepot park, Miami, FL
Where to watch: MASN 2, Bally Sports Florida
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
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Nationals - Marlins preview and analysis
The NL East was so promising at one point with the Miami Marlins actually looking competitive. Of course things have changed since then with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets running roughshod with this division.
But the Marlins still have some talent at their disposal, and starting a weekend series against the Washington Nationals is a great chance to end the season on a high note. The Marlins showed some fight, but the folks in Miami have to figure out if Don Mattingly is still the right man for the job to lead this group into the future.
The Marlins are still a ways away, however, from contending. Look no further than that loss Wednesday to the Chicago Cubs, a 4-3 defeat at home. The Cubs rallied from three runs down in the eighth to get the win, which just is a microcosm of this season. But Mattingly went to Steven Okert for a second straight loss, which of course is the wrong move.
"I wanted to go back to him today," Mattingly said. "The guy's been good for you. He had a tough (Tuesday) night and wanted to give him a chance for him to respond."
He did not. He did not respond, and thinking that there was any reason for him to do so this late in the year when your team has been absolute garbage really doesn’t help matters. But if there’s any solace in the Marlins entering this series, the Nationals have been absolute hot garbage in division play this year. Washington, in unfathomable ridiculousness, is 14-49 against NL East teams this year and 61-118 in the last three years.
I feel like when there’s that kind of effort in your own division, relegation is needed. The Nationals have sold their souls to the devil for the sake of a World Series championship. So much so that they never got to celebrate it because the COVID year followed right after.
But the Nationals did defeat the Atlanta Braves in their last game, 3-2 on Wednesday at the home of the defending World Series champions. Joey Meneses hit the go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Nats the rare road win. No, this does not mean that this group will suddenly start winning against division opponents.
"I can't say enough about what Joey has done for us since he's been here," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He's been hitting balls, doubles, homers, getting on base, but today was all about the team. We came out with a victory."
If you’re the Nats, you’re looking for moral victories. At the very least, this is what happens when you believe in yourself and whatnot.
I don’t think this is the kind of thing the Nationals can rally around with 13 games to go, but good on you for thinking that to be the case. Give me the Marlins in what should be an easy series for the home team. Marlins win 7-3
Nationals are 19-21 this season when the moneyline is between +125 and -125.
Nationals are 3-13 this season after scoring three runs or less in four straight games.
Marlins are 17-33 after three straight home games.
Lane Thomas (R) RF
Luis Garcia (L) 2B
Joey Meneses (R) 1B
Luke Voit (R) DH
Ildemaro Vargas (S) 3B
CJ Abrams (L) SS
Victor Robles (R) CF
Josh Palacios (L) LF
Tres Barrera (R) C
Jon Berti (R) LF
Miguel Rojas (R) SS
Charles Leblanc (R) 2B
Garrett Cooper (R) DH
JJ Bleday (L) RF
Bryan De La Cruz (R) CF
Nick Fortes (R) C
Jordan Groshans (R) 3B
Lewin Diaz (L) 1B
Batting average: Cesar Hernandez -- .251
Home runs: Lane Thomas -- 16
RBI: Nelson Cruz -- 64
Wins: Josiah Gray -- 7
Batting average: Miguel Rojas -- .231
Home runs: Jazz Chisholm -- 14
RBI: Garrett Cooper -- 49
Wins: Sandy Alcantara -- 13
ERA: Sandy Alcantara -- 2.37
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