After finishing up their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Diego Padres will then host the Miami Marlins for a three game series.
The Marlins are off to a decent start to their 2017 season, going into Friday’s series with a 8-7 record, putting them two games behind the N.L. East leader Washington Nationals.
While neither has performed well so far, with ERA’s in the upper fours, they have had some key offensive players contribute to their winning record so far.
Outfielders Christian Yelich , Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton, as well as catcher, J.T. Realmuto, are all off to hot starts, with all three outfielders with four or more home runs, and Realmuto carrying a .354 batting average
The left-handed Conley will be on the mound for the Fish. He hasn’t faced many of the Padres’ hitters in his career. Erick Aybar is 3-6 in his career. Yangervis Solarte is hitless in his only at bat and Christian Bethancourt has also gone 0 for 2 in his career against the southpaw. The Padres look to keep their momentum going and they will have Trevor Cahill on the mound. Cahill has faced many of the Marlins hitters in his career. Ichiro Suzuki is 12 for 31 (.387) off Cahill. A.J. Ellis is 8-25 (.320), Dee Gordon is 7-17 (.412), Giancarlo Stanton is 4-9 (.444), and Martin Prado is 3-5 (.600) lifetime off of Cahill. It could be a long day for the right-hander as many of the Marlins have handled him in the past.
Dan Strailey is on the mound for the Marlins. He was once the property of the Padres, but was claimed last spring by the Reds and had a great 2016 season. Only Erick Aybar has had any at bats against the right-handed pitcher. Aybar is six for 14 lifetime against him. Most of the Marlins have not faced Weaver in their careers. Ichiro has 74 at bats however, where he is hitting .257 off the right-hander. A.J. Ellis is 2-4 and Dee Gordon is 0-3. That is it. No other Marlin has an at bat in the regular season against the Padres right-handed pitcher. That could be to his advantage.
The Padres have faced Koehler before, but as a group, they have not had much success. Hector Sanchez is 2 for 3, Bethancourt is 1 for 3, and Ryan Schimpf is 1 for 3 lifetime against the big right-handed pitcher. Wil Myers is 0 for 3 lifetime with two K’s against Koehler. Against Perdomo, the Marlins have had some at bats. J.T. Realmuto is 3-6 lifetime and nobody else has had much success. Martin Prado and Christian Yelich are both 1-7 off of Perdomo and Dee Gordon is 1-3. With Perdomo returning from a shoulder strain, the Padres will be cautious with him.
Players to Watch
He is the face of the franchise and is off to a very hot start. He looks to keep his hitting streak alive against a pitching staff he is mostly unfamiliar with. Myers has struggled slightly at first base defensively. Nothing to be concerned with, but his glove work could be key in the series.
Stanton looks to be heating up and is capable of carrying a team on his back. He has yet to face Perdomo and Weaver in his career,so that should favor the pitchers. However it takes one pitch in a missed location for the hitter to knock the cover off the ball.
Matchups to Watch
Can the Padres contain Stanton? That is one match to keep an eye on. Another is the Padres’rookie outfielders, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot, against the Marlins pitching staff. They both have performed early, but the length and pressure of a major league season can be burdensome. Finally, the Padres middle relief must contain the Marlins. Perdomo and Weaver could struggle to go deep in their games, so the staff will need to step up.
The Padres should be able to take the series, but they are very capable of falling flat too. The team is very young and there will be stretches where they play bad baseball. Hopefully we do not witness that in this series and the Padres keep it rolling. I figure the team will squeak out a series victory this weekend, as Sunday’s game will be the deciding factor.