The Miami Marlins have struggled to gather any sort of traction this year, falling to one of the worst marks in the league. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers are at the other end of the spectrum currently atop the list for the best record in the league. All of this sets up an intriguing matchup on Tuesday night.
Hot Dodgers looking to ride a striding Clayton Kershaw
Up through this point of the season, the Dodgers have been arguably the best team in the majors moving toward the mark in the league. They have put together arguably the deepest and most talented team that has tremendous balance both at the plate and on the mound. The Dodgers have been fueled by plenty of young and proven talent along their roster. Offensive they have been led by the stellar play by rising star outfielder Cody Bellinger, who has been putting forth a career-best campaign. Bellinger is currently batting .317 with 38 home runs, 89 RBI, 92 runs scored, and a 1.077 OPS that has him on pace to notch career-best numbers with 51 home runs, 120 RBI, and 124 runs scored. Although he has fallen off a bit from his torrid start, he has been the most dangerous bat in the middle of their lineup with power and effectiveness, hitting with runs on as he’s batting .316 with 15 home runs, 66 RBI, and holds a 1.051 OPS.
Meanwhile, there has also been the promising emergence of rookie catcher Will Smith, who has stepped in firmly into a prominent role. Smith has been a huge asset at the plate behind his strong production in his limited action as he’s batting .313 with seven home runs, 23 RBI, eight doubles, and 11 runs scored in just 22 games played. Smith has continued his hot start over the last couple of games has he has recorded four RBI with a home run over that span. On top of that, the Dodgers will be sending one of their best arms to the mound with star left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who is putting together another strong campaign as he holds an 11-2 record with a 2.77 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and .224 opposing batting average through his first 20 starts of the year. Kershaw has turned it up a notch in his last five outings where holds 4-0 record while allowing two or fewer runs in each outing over that stretch. In the contest that he didn’t grab a win, he pitched six scoreless innings while striking out 10 batters. Given the direction the Dodgers are heading along with how Kershaw has pitched in the last month, it pushes a tremendous amount of momentum behind them for Tuesday’s contest.
Marlins liming through 2019 season
The Marlins are merely the polar opposite of the Dodgers as they have fallen to one of the worst marks in the majors. They have struggled to find any consistency with their roster that has been stricken bare with their previously proven talent out the door after the new regime has taken over with ownership. This has pushed the team into full rebuild mode that has put forth some tough times over the last couple of years. This has once again been the case this year with their roster struggling to find any type of consistency ranking near the bottom of the league in both regards at the plate and on the mound. The bulk of that has come from their utter lack of production from their bats this season that has been arguably the least productive in the majors. Miami is currently last in the league in runs scored, 29th in hits, 25th in doubles, last in home runs, 27th in batting average, and last in slugging percentage.
This could put them in a tough spot against a streaking pitcher in Kershaw, who has been lights out over his last several starts. This will need their offense to step up, especially with an unproven pitcher behind them on the mound in right-hander Jordan Yamamoto, who holds a 4-3 record with a 4.17 ERA along with a .175 opposing batting average and a 1.04 WHIP in his first 10 starts of his career. Yamamato has been a bright spot on the Marlins’ pitching staff but has a stiff challenge against the Dodgers’ potent bats. It also doesn’t help that he has allowed at least four runs in his last four outings with six home runs allowed over that stretch. All of this simply paints things trending heavily in Los Angeles’ favor as the Marlins’ porous offense will be the difference in the contest on Tuesday night.
- Marlins are 2-7 in their last nine games when their opponent scores five runs or more in their previous game.
- Marlins are 3-11 in their last 14 games against a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15.
- Marlins are 2-8 in their last 10 games overall.
- Dodgers are 42-9 in Kershaw’s last 51 starts against the National League East.
- Dodgers are 4-1 in Kershaw’s last 5 starts with six days of rest.
- Dodgers are 67-20 in Kershaw’s last 87 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.