It can’t get any worse than this. After abysmally getting swept in four games to the Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers are off to their worst start since 1958. They will now head to South Beach to take on the Miami Marlins. Led by skipper Don Mattingly, the 14-26 Marlins are in last place in the NL East.
Although it is only May, this is the final time the Dodgers face the Marlins in 2018. The Fightin’ Fish came to Chavez Ravine back in April and took home the victory twice in the three game set.
Tuesday: Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22 ERA)
This time last year, Alex Wood had a 4-0 record through eight appearances. In fact, in 2017, he did not lose his third decision until September. This season, the southpaw is searching for his first victory heading into his ninth start.
Despite his poor record, Wood has been productive on the mound. If you exclude the game against the Athletics when he allowed seven runs, the lefty has an ERA of 2.40 this season.
The Marlins bring in a lefty of their own to open the series with Wei-Yin Chen. The seven year veteran has been limited by injuries the last two seasons, throwing less than 50 innings since the beginning of 2017.
Chen is making just his fourth start of the season. His 10.22 ERA is inflated in large part because of his last start where he allowed nine runs against the Chicago Cubs.
Wednesday: Walker Buehler (2-1, 1.64 ERA) vs. Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.63 ERA)
Despite throwing a quality start in his last outing, Walker Buehler took home his first loss of the season against the Reds. Buehler has only allowed four runs in 22 innings all year.
The Marlins will throw out Caleb Smith to start game two of the series. After struggling to start the season, Smith has been effective. In his last four starts, he has an ERA of 1.50.
Thursday Kenta Maeda (2-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (1-0, 5.54 ERA)
Kenta Maeda is looking to rebound after surrendering five runs in his loss to the Reds. Maeda pitched faced the Marlins earlier this year, allowing just one run in six innings.
Like Wei-Yin Chen, Dan Straily has a limited sample size in 2018. He is making just his fourth start and has thrown only 13 innings this year. Straily won his last start, allowing two earned runs in five innings against the Atlanta Braves.
Players to Watch:
Marlins: J.T. Realmuto
Throughout the off-season, several trade rumors floated about the possibility of shipping catcher J.T. Realmuto to a contending team. Fast-forwarding to the middle of May, Realmuto remains on the Marlins roster.
Although he began the season dealing with back problems, Realmuto made up for his lost time. In 22 games, he is batting .302 with five home runs. Three of his five roundtrippers this year are against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: Justin Turner
After a long wait, the Dodgers expect Justin Turner to return this series. He has been out all season after breaking his wrist during Spring Training. The third baseman has been a leader for the Dodgers for several year and he should ignite the offense upon his return. Logan Forsythe also expects to come back this series after dealing with a shoulder injury.
Roberts said he expects Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe to be in the Dodger lineup Tuesday in Miami.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 13, 2018
Calling the Dodgers a disappointment this season is a clear understatement. The last time they were this bad through their first 40 games, Dwight Eisenhower was president.
Fortunately, there is some optimism this series. They are facing a last place Marlins ball club and two key infielders are returning to the lineup. Although the return of Forsythe and Turner may not solve all their problems, a strengthened lineup can give the Dodgers the momentum that they have been searching for.\
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/its-official-justin-turner-will-return-tuesday-in-miami-ce1110/2018/05/14/”]It’s Official: Justin Turner Will Return Tuesday In Miami[/button]