The Miami Marlins (17-22, 9-13 away) up a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (22-17, 12-5 home) on Sunday. The Dodgers were victorious in the first two contests this weekend.
Sunday’s first pitch is at 4:10 p.m. EST at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. According to oddsmakers, Los Angeles is the favorite (-155), and the run total is 8.
What to Know – Miami Marlins
Miami has won only two of its last eight contests coming into Sunday afternoon. The Marlins have fallen to the bottom of the National League East standings, four games back of the New York Mets. Miami continues a lengthy road swing with a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies beginning on Tuesday.
Right-hander Pablo Lopez (0-3, 3.07 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) looks to notch his first victory on the mound this season. Lopez has thrown 44.0 innings this season, conceding 15 earned runs on 38 hits with 43 strikeouts. The 25-year old was roughed up in his last start, allowing six earned runs over 4.1 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Tuesday.
Miami scores 4.0 runs per game while sporting a team batting average of .230. First baseman Jesus Aguilar has put up solid numbers at the plate, hitting .285 with a team-high nine home runs and 32 runs driven in. Shortstop Miguel Rojas is batting .347 this month with 17 hits in 49 at-bats, and the 32-year old has only struck out nine times in May.
What to Know – Los Angeles Dodgers
After falling to nearly .500 to start the month, the Dodgers are back to their winnings ways, victorious in four of their last five. The Dodgers will have to move forward without star shortstop Corey Seager, who broke his hand in Saturday night’s victory. Los Angeles is one game out of first place in the NL West, trailing the San Francisco Giants and tied with the San Diego Padres.
Walker Buehler was scheduled to make the start Sunday, but the Dodgers elected to give him an extra day of rest and push his start till Monday. Right-hander Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) is penciled to make his first start of the season for Los Angeles after working out of the bullpen this year. Nelson is a former starter and tossed 2.0 innings of the perfect ball in his last outing, surrendering no hits, no walks, with a pair of strikeouts.
The Dodgers are one of the top offenses in the majors, averaging 5.2 runs per game while batting .245 as a team. Utility player Max Muncy continues to stay hot at the dish, hitting .261 with a team-best eight home runs and 23 RBIs. L.A. is glad they resigned Justin Turner in the offseason, as the first baseman is hitting. 311 with seven home runs, 23 RBIs, and 26 runs scored.
The Pick is In
The Dodgers suffered a blow with the loss of Seager for the foreseeable future, but L.A. has a deep bench with skilled players waiting to step up. Miami continues to rebuild its roster and has dealt with injuries to critical positions themselves this year.
Nelson was a solid pitcher the last few seasons when he was a starter, so he should do fine against Miami. Lopez will have a tough time locking in his first victory against the Dodgers as L.A. gets the NL sweep.
The Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers ML