Things appear to be getting worse for the Miami Marlins before they get good. A potential breakout season for the Marlins has turned into mush. The loss of Giancarlo Stanton has been bigger than many have expected. I knew it wasn’t going to be good of course, losing one of the best hitters in all of baseball. However, the Marlins have turned into an abomination. Jose Fernandez has been playing great baseball since returning, but that hasn’t been enough for the Marlins to turn things around. Many, including myself, thought that the Marlins might be in for a solid second half. But the injury to Stanton definitely hampered things, and it’s translated into despair on the baseball diamond. Fernandez coming back and performing is expected, but the performance of one pitcher on the Marlins’ staff wasn’t expected. That pitcher being Tom Koehler. See, the Marlins have some pieces here, which makes it even more frustrating that they have a record of 41-58.
The team on the other side, the Washington Nationals, are playing a different role at this point in the season. They’re looking to make the postseason and make a big push deep into them. One player that needs to be on point is hurler Doug Fister. He hasn’t been at his best this season. Fister was supposed to be a part of one of the most daunting rotations in baseball, but things haven’t gone according to plan for the Nationals. You wonder how much better the Nationals record would be if he was hot. Stephen Strasburg also fits into that equation. The Nationals are still holding on, but they’d get a big boost if Fister can turn it around. He has a chance of doing that tonight against the Marlins’ offense, who are currently in a major rut.
Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Doug Fister (3-6, 4.50 ERA) vs. Tom Koehler (8-6, 3.16 ERA)
If Doug Fister finds himself having issues against the Marlins, then I don’t know if he’s ever going to be able to contribute for the Nationals this season. This should be a textbook start for Fister against a struggling Marlins’ offense, but if things get hairy you have to start thinking he’s not going to regain his previous form. The Marlins have scored only 2 runs per game over their last four games. In their last ten games there’s been only one where they’ve scored more than 5 runs. In four of them they scored only 1 run.
Koehler hasn’t gotten much recognition, but he’s been mowing hitters down. It has been seven starts since he’s allowed greater than 2 runs. In his last two outings he’s allowed a total of only 6 hits. Furthermore, at home in Miami, Koehler has been rather reliable to say the least. He owns an ERA of 1.68 at home with a 0.99 WHIP and .258 OBA. I recall that Koehler was potent at home last season as well. We see this as a low scoring matchup between Fister and Koehler. I feel like Fister is going to have a game where he shines and it very well could happen today against the Stanton-less Marlins.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 RUNS (-101)