Preview: Marlins at Nationals

Current Conditions - Washington
Cloudy 62 °F
Wind: NNE 16.1
5-Day Forecast
GAME: Miami Marlins (78-80) at Washington Nationals (93-66)
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 30 - 7:05 PM EST
WHERE: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A


The Washington Nationals hope to wrap up home field in the National League Divisional series when they host the Miami Marlins in the final series of the regular season beginning Friday. The injury-plagued Nationals knocked off Arizona 5-3 on Thursday to strengthen their chances at starting the playoffs in the nation’s capital against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bryce Harper (thumb) missed his fourth straight game Thursday to lead a group of players either out injured or being rested for the playoffs, but Anthony Rendon is warming up while going 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs in the last three games for Washington. The Marlins lost their last two games to the New York Mets after Monday’s emotional win, following the tragic death of star pitcher Jose Fernandez on Sunday morning. The team attended the funeral service for Fernandez on Thursday and will need three straight victories to finish over .500 for the first time since 2009. Miami leadoff batter Dee Gordon, who homered to open the game Monday, is 8-for-17 during a four-game hitting streak.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), MASN2 (Washington)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Andrew Cashner (5-11, 5.13 ERA) vs. Nationals RH A.J. Cole (1-2, 5.09)

Cashner allowed one or fewer runs in four of his last seven starts, including Sept. 23 when he limited Atlanta to one tally and three hits across five innings in a no-decision. The 30-year-old TCU product is 1-4 in 11 contests since being traded to Miami and 0-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 13 away games this season. Jayson Werth is 6-for-11 with a homer versus Cashner, who is 2-4 lifetime against Washington.

Cole was suspended five games for throwing at Pittsburgh’s Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, but is appealing the ruling and is eligible to pitch on Friday. The 24-year-old Floridian has not completed more than five innings in his last four outings, including Sept. 19 at Miami when he yielded two runs over four frames. Giancarlo Stanton went deep in that game against Cole, who boasts 37 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Miami 1B Justin Bour is 6-for-9 with a pair of walks over the last three contests.

2. Washington manager Dusty Baker told reporters he expects 2B Daniel Murphy (glute strain), out since Sept. 20, to be ready for the playoffs.
 
3. Marlins OF Ichiro Suzuki is two games away from becoming the 57th player in major league history to participate in 2,500 contests.

PREDICTION: Marlins 6, Nationals 4

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Miami 78-80 L2 40-40 38-40 31-41 21-13 20-12 6-14
Washington 93-66 W1 48-30 45-36 49-24 17-16 15-18 12-8

Last Meeting

Miami Washington
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/21/16 WAS 8 MIA 3 .129 2 .504 .242 2 .770

Player Stats

Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
MIA M. Ozuna .300 18 .867
WAS D. Murphy .333 16 .785
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
MIA G. Stanton 4 7 6
WAS B. Harper 4 9 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
MIA 3.51 .238 128
WAS 2.98 .232 128
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
MIA M. Prado .305 181 .778
WAS D. Murphy .347 184 .987
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
MIA G. Stanton 27 56 74
WAS D. Murphy 25 88 104
Pitching ERA Avg K
MIA 4.02 .263 1355
WAS 3.51 .255 1452

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Miami Overall Washington
78-80 W/L 93-66
74-84 RL W/L 82-77
78-74-6 O/U 74-77-8
4.05 Runs For 4.70
4.22 Runs Against 3.75
Miami A/H Washington
38-40 W/L 48-30
39-39 RL W/L 36-42
45-30-3 O/U 38-36-4
4.33 Runs For 4.47
4.67 Runs Against 3.74