Three Strikes: Miami Marlins vs Baltimore Orioles

Sort of starting to get to the point you can sympathize with Randy Quaid, isn’t it? Fresh off of consecutive sweeps to teams projected to challenge for cellar dweller status in their respective divisions, the Miami Marlins welcome a fellow preseason postseason favorite to town in the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore sits in third in the AL East, slugging it out in baseball’s most competitive division; Miami meanwhile has been bludgeoned all the way to fifth in the NL East.  Who comes out ahead? Let’s dive in.

Why Miami Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Defense.  Miami should hold the edge here once again, as MLB’s second best fielding squad holds an eight error advantage over the Orioles in this category.  Plus one would think a new series would provide a chance for new life to do something about this current slide, and to give the home fans something to cheer over.
  • Strike 2- Rallying around the horses.  Theoretically, Miami will be throwing their best three pitchers against the Orioles.  This is more of a hunch, as Baltimore should hold the ERA edge in 2/3 of the games- and really 3/3: I’m giving a veteran’s nod to Dan Haren over rookie Mike Wright.  But I think at home- not that home has helped much this season- the marlins rally around their horses and eke it out.  If not with Haren and Henderson Alvarez…the Fish might as well give Jose Fernandez another month to recover.
  • Strike 3- History.  As Marlins broadcaster Glenn Geffner notes, Miami has a pretty good track record against Baltimore.  Little things like that matter when slumping, and could just be enough to jumpstart the home-town nine.

Why Baltimore Wins The Series

  • Strike 1- Offense.  They’ve hit twenty more home runs than Miami, almost double their total.  Make it nearly twenty in RBI as well.  Batting averages are about even, but one team enters slumping mightily while the other just took three of four.  But the homers are the main focus, as the homers have been what have most hurt Miami of late.  Baltimore likes hitting em, and if the Fish continue to struggle, one shot could be all she wrote.
  • Strike 2- Snowball! Yep, that snowballing losing streak.  While I can argue that sheer statistics mean Miami is due to win a series, I can also quote the great Yogi Berra and tell you about the mental side of the game…no team in baseball has more mental baggage than the Marlins right now.  Until they prove they can win one, save your betting money for the Belmont.
  • Strike 3- Pitching.  This is the by the numbers pitching breakdown. Baltimore will hold the ERA edge in every matchup, and by a lot.  And the Fish continue to flip flop atop the deck in the late innings, mixing and matching brilliance and breakdowns.  Could change, but just as easily couldn’t.  And reports are coming in Henderson Alvarez could well be more hurt than we thought as of this writing.  More later in the weekend, but if true….could end up seeing Justin Niccolino this May after all.

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