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Series Preview: Marlins at Phillies


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Miami's 60-game 2020 season will begin with a three-game set in Philadelphia on Friday evening.

The first start of the season will go to Sandy Alcantara and he will have a tough task ahead of him. Philadelphia's lineup is one of the scariest in the league and the team remains a World Series contender. Alcantara put together a 3.82 E.R.A in 18.2 innings against the Phillies in 2019, with a 1.32 mark in Philadelphia's home park. The right-hander struck out 17 and allowed only one home run against a powerful Phillies lineup last season.

Caleb Smith will get the ball in the second game of the season and he will be pitching on a mound that gave him trouble in 2019. Smith had a 6.00 E.R.A in nine innings at Citizens Bank Park last season across two starts. Smith allowed three home runs and walked five combined in the two appearances, but also was able to strike out nine along the way.

Sunday's series finale will feature Jose Urena as Miami's starting pitcher. Urena's 2019 season was a crapshoot, but he was an ace against the Phillies. Urena had a 1.80 E.R.A in 15 innings against the 2019 Phillies and he held the team to a .204 opposing batting average. The right-hander struck out 13 and walked three during his time on the mound against Philly.

Miami's offense will take on Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Vince Velasquez in the series, as it looks to get the season started in a big way. The Marlins looked like an offensive powerhouse in Atlanta during a pair of exhibition games, but these games will be different story as they count. Philadelphia's ballpark is a friendly one for hitters, though the three men on the mound can be dominant.

Nola had big numbers against Miami in 2019, but Brian Anderson was one player who may have figured the pitcher out. Anderson has a .409 career on-base percentage against Nola in his career and he will be in the middle of Miami's lineup on Opening Day.

Wheeler was consistently strong against Miami's lineup, while he was a member of the New York Mets. A quick look at Miami's current choices at hitters, shows no standout numbers against the right-hander. Wheeler holds a 1.91 career E.R.A against the Marlins in 94.1 innings of work.

The finale could be Miami's best chance to score runs, with multiple hitters having decent numbers against Velasquez. Miguel Rojas has had the most sustained success against the pitcher, while Garett Cooper has big numbers in a small sample size.

The first pitch of the season is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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