The Miami Marlins are playing the season out hard, not throwing it in early. Maybe they should have played a little harder for the entire season, but they are showing something late in the season. They have had to face some adversity, being with their top two players for part of the year. Who I’m talking about is pitcher Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton. Right there is their team, or at least the guys supposed to lead the Marlins to relevancy. Stanton of course broke a bone in his face after getting nailed straight in the face with a fastball. And Fernandez has had a long road back to the mound after throwing his elbow out. They are healthy now and playing good baseball. But that isn’t going to make them be that relevant team. Maybe next season? First thing is first though, Fernandez and Stanton need to stay healthy. I suspect Stanton won’t suffer another freak injury like he had, so bright spot in that respect. But it isn’t just going to take two players to go from 68-89. They can be the catalysts, but there needs to be role players around them.
Before we go any further though, the Marlins have shut Stanton down for the season due a hand injury. It isn’t going to alter the 2015 landscape any differently for the Marlins as a result of it. They are just being extra careful in what amounts to a pretty pointless game for both squads. And for both squads, what a disappointing season it has been. After the Marlins won five straight games, the Rays were able to end it last night with a 4-2 win. I suggest extra caution with baseball this time of the season. Play these games small for the last week of the season, and then turn it back up for the postseason.
Miami Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Jose Fernandez (6-0, 2.91 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (8-9, 3.49)
Jose Fernandez was rolling right along in his comeback this season, and then the worst offense in baseball met him in his last start. The Atlanta Braves blasted Fernandez for 6 runs in what resulted in his worst start of the season. Despite the bad start, Fernandez is still 6-0. The Marlins ended up winning the contest by a mark of 12-11. Fernandez may very well go the entire season without recording a loss, albeit, a shortened season for him. That is the first start that he has gone over 3 runs allowed. He has also surrendered only more than 2 runs on two occasions. Fernandez got rocked last outing, but he will have another chance against an inferior offense today.
Great pitchers will bounce back from rough showings. That is what separates the best from the not so best. Odorizzi has been looking to bounce back for a few starts now. He has allowed 11 runs in his last three starts, while posting a 5.94 ERA. Odorizzi has surrendered 4 runs in two straight starts. If you can find relatively low prices in Fernandez starts, you have to take a look at him. When you find any elite pitcher with a generous price, I think it is always worth a look, especially here against Odorizzi. I don’t know what the future holds for the Marlins, but for today I think Fernandez gets himself another W on the season.
PICK: MARLINS TO WIN -120