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Marlins Look to Snap Losing Streak Against Blue Jays

The Miami Marlins had a quite impressive start to their campaign. Despite experiencing COVID-19 problems, the won seven of its first eight games. However, the team has recently lost two games in a row and will look to get back to the winning ways on the road against the Blue Jays.

Miami will travel to Buffalo where two of what the team hopes could be regular starters are set to pitch on the mound. The Marlins roster, and especially the starting rotation, has many questionable players currently quarantining. Still, this two-game series will see two of their best arms in action. The challenge, meanwhile, is just as difficult as what the Marlins themselves have to offer.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday and Wednesday’s games in Buffalo:

SERIES INFORMATION

  1. Tuesday, August 11th, 6:37 pm Eastern Time
  • TV: FOX Sports Florida, Sportsnet One, MLB Network

2. Wednesday, August 12th, 6:37 pm Eastern Time

  • TV: FOX Sports Florida, Sportsnet One

WHERE THE TEAMS STAND

Toronto has a record of 5-8, sitting at fourth place in the AL East. The Blue Jays are yet to win a series since the start of the season, losing two of three against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Boston. In addition, the club also split a home-and-away four-game set against the Nationals.

Miami is 7-3, leading the NL East with a .700 winning percentage but with six games (Washington and Philly) postponed. The Marlins dropped two of three at Citi Field over the weekend, losing in Pablo Lopez’s return on Sunday, 4-2.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Credits: FishStripes

GAME ONE

Elieser Hernandez (1 Start, 0.00 ERA) vs Hyun Jin Ryu (1-1, 5.14 ERA)

The third-year starting pitcher Hernandez put on an excellent performance during his first start in Baltimore. The Venezuela native threw 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, accompanied by five strikeouts. The rate of bases on balls per nine innings, 2.1 BB/9, was similar to his strong figure last year (2.8 BB/9). He’ll be looking to post his first scoreless outing of over five frames in over a year (August 8th, 2019 vs Braves).

Toronto is scheduled to use its heavy artillery on the mound on Tuesday night in former Dodger Hyun Jin Ryu. The Korean has registered a shift in his game, throwing 10.4 K/9. This has hurt his control and the MLB-best 1.2 BB/9 from 2019 is now up to a career-high 4.5.

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GAME TWO

Jordan Yamamoto (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs Nate Pearson (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

In a move that was bound to happen, Yamamoto was dropped to Jupiter’s alternate camp and started the year out of Miami’s rotation. Of course, the rotation experienced changes as early as the third game of the season with Jose Urena suffering from coronavirus. Yamamoto finally made his season debut on August 6th against the Orioles, surrendering four runs over four innings in a no-decision. Yamamoto had a solid first year in MLB, posting a 4.46 ERA, despite over four walks per nine and over a homerun per nine innings.

Toronto’s young flamethrowing arm Pearson has had two really good five-inning starts since entering the league. Nate allowed no runs in the first outing and three in the second, totaling five strikeouts and five walks. His weakness during the early part of his young career seems to be the latter.

OFFENSIVE DISPLAY

Credits: FishStripes

Runs Scored: Blue Jays – 39; Marlins – 42

Runs/Game: Blue Jays – 3.0, Marlins – 4.2

Both teams have had slow starts at the plate, which has cost one of the teams more than the other. Even if Miami has played as many games as Toronto, they wouldn’t rank higher than 25th across the league. If they never had a single postponed game, they would’ve ranked merely 20th.

This might seem like an improvement as opposed to last year’s second-worst debacle. However, it’s still rather disappointing considering a few vital players have fallen short of the expectations, creating even more holes in Miami’s lineup. Jonathan Villar and Corey Dickerson have not delivered, with both having OBP under .300. Jesus Aguilar and Brian Anderson have stepped up for the majority of the offensive production but that could be unhealthy in the long term. Furthermore, Monte Harrison has also failed to deliver since coming up to the majors, batting .125.

The Marlins’ lineup has not been even close to good but has been better than last year. This should resemble an improvement in terms of wins and losses if the rotation shines like last year.

Toronto has scored the second-fewest runs thus far in 2020, with only the Cardinals, who haven’t played a game in two weeks, scoring fewer. Teoscar Hernandez has been the hottest bat for the Jays with an OPS of .941, while Bo Bichette has posted a .511 slugging percentage.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Francisco Cervelli vs Ryu – 4 AB, 3 H, 1 K, 1.500 OPS

Logan Forsythe vs Ryu – 3 AB, 1 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1.000 OPS

Joe Panik vs Hernandez – 4 AB, 1 H, 1 R

SUMMARY

The Blue Jays might have the upper hand. Both teams have had a bad start at the plate and have many holes, making their display offensively similar. However, Toronto will have its ace on the mound, a pitcher who is bound to get it going sooner or later, as well as a young, hot arm ready to surprise the experts.

Follow me on Twitter at @TeodorTsenov for more of my content! Don’t forget to join our OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram –  @overtimeheroics_MLB. We’ll see ya there!

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Teodor
Jets and Marlins writer for Overtime Heroics, as well as an NFL and MLB writer for Franchise Sports UK. From Bulgaria.
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