After an intense series with the White Sox that ended in a sweep, the Indians will be going on a whirlwind roadtrip playing just three games in Miami before coming right back home to face the Tigers in what will probably be the most important series for the rest of the season. Not only is it a short road trip, but since it is in a National League park, the Indians will be without a DH for the series. This isn't as big of a deal for the Tribe as it once was since Travis Hafner is no longer with the team. Expect to see a lot of Nick Swisher in right field in order to get Mark Reynolds in the game at first instead of Drew Stubbs.
From the numbers alone, the Marlins have some fantastic starting pitching and the starters going in this series are no exception. Miami's biggest issue is that they are the worst offensive team in the Major Leagues, ranking dead last in runs scored and batting average. This makes them very similar to the White Sox team the Indians just swept, with the major difference being that the Indians have had a ton of experience against Chicago, while they will be facing most of these Marlins players for the first time.
Game 1: Friday, August 2nd 7:10 PM EDT
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, 8-5, 4.17 ERA vs Jose Fernandez, RHP, 7-5, 2.71 ERA
Jimenez is coming off his best start of the season against the Texas Rangers, who are considerably better at offense than the Marlins. This game sets up well for Jimenez in another way as well as he has been significantly better on the road than at home, holding an ERA of 5.16 at Progressive Field and 3.33 every where else.
Fernandez has been a top pitcher for the Marlins and they have won 12 of their 42 total wins with him on the mound.In his past ten games the Marlinsare 8-2 and he has averaged six innings per game and struck out more than a batter per inning.
Game 2: Saturday, August 3rd 7:10 PM EDT
Zach McAllister, RHP, 4-6, 3.48 ERA vs Jacob Turner, RHP, 3-3, 2.65 ERA
Turner has a better ERA than Fernandez on the season, but has had the opposite trend as he has been getting worse over the past few weeks. The Marlins are 1-4 in his last five starts and he has given up about three runs per game over that stretch.
Game 3: Sunday, August 4th 1:10 PM EDT
Scott Kazmir, LHP, 6-4, 4.11 ERA vs Nate Eovaldi, RHP, 2-1, 3.47 ERA
Kazmir just ended a streak of seven great starts in a row with a poor effort against the White Sox, but the Indians still won the game. He will look to get back on track against Eovaldi, who has had two good starts in a row since getting pounded by Milwaukee on July 20th. All three games will be tough for the Indians offense and look to be low scoring games all around. At just two games out of the AL Central, the Indians will need some fantastic starting pitching and genius bullpen work to maintain the pace as the Tigers move on to face the hapless White Sox.