The Dodgers are coming off another series victory in Philadelphia and now head to Miami to face the Marlins as the continue to lead the NL West by 7.5 games. Mike Redmond and his club are currently in last place in the NL East with a 47-75 record and have only won four out of their last ten games.
Although the Marlins have been struggling, they do have one of the best young pitchers in baseball in Jose Fernandez. The 21-year-old right hander from Cuba has been hot as of late and along with Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, is in the conversation for NL Rookie of the Year.
The Dodgers are still trying to catch the Braves for the best record in the NL, while the Diamondbacks will play four games against the Reds as this is yet another opportunity to continue to stretch the lead in the NL West.
Here are the keys to the series:
Late errors cost the Dodgers in the final game against the Phillies and against a struggling team like the Marlins, it’s easy to get complacent with the easiest of fundamentals. The Dodgers need to continue to play hard and smart and everything else will take care of itself, but base running mistakes and errant throws need to be limited.
2. Get On The Board Early
The Marlins have had problems on offense and that’s great news for the Dodgers pitching staff. The starters should have solid outings, but they need the run support as a three-run lead could be too much to overcome for the Fish. The Marlins rank 30th in various offensive categories, putting a premium on scoring early and often.
3. Starting Pitching
The Dodgers staff has been lights out in the last 51 games, but playing the worst team in the league shouldn’t be a time to take the foot off the gas. Anytime Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke get to pitch in a series, there’s an expectation that the Dodgers should win all three games and that doesn’t change against the Fish.
Prediction: The Dodgers should’ve swept the Phillies and they should sweep the Marlins. There aren’t any signs that the Dodgers are slowing down and the Marlins don’t have enough to challenge the Dodgers.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on Matt Kemp’s ankle injury.