Miami Marlins (52-57 SU, 58-51 RL, 56-46-7 O/U) vs. Washington Nationals (65-44 SU, 54-55 RL, 54-51-4 O/U)
MLB: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 7:05 p.m. EST
The Line: Washington Nationals -140/Miami Marlina +120. Total: 10.
The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins will continue a four-game series when they collide at Nationals Park on Tuesday night. Washington took two of three from the Cubs over the weekend but lost two of three at Miami last week. The Marlins halted a recent two-game skid by beating Atlanta on Sunday.
The Marlins avoided a three-game sweep at Atlanta with a 4-1 triumph on Sunday as Marcell Ozuna launched a three-run homer in the first inning of the team’s seventh win in 11 contests. Giancarlo Stanton extended his hitting streak to five games with a single on Sunday and remains one shy of tying his career high of 37 homers that he set in 2012 and matched two years later. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is batting .366 while hitting safely in 40 of his 47 road games this year after going 4-for-8 over his last two games.
Right-hander Vance Worley is taking the mound for Miami on Tuesday. Worley is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA through 14 appearances (six starts) this season. His most recent outing was his best of 2017: seven innings, two hits, no runs, and no walks in a shutout victory over the Nationals last Wednesday.
In cruise control
The Nationals finished a 3-3 road trip on a positive note and look to take that momentum into a nine-game home-stand. Catcher Matt Wieters belted a grand slam to help the Nationals rally from three runs down for a 9-4 road victory over the Cubs on Sunday and maintain their 13-game lead over second-place Miami in the National League East. Wieters finished with six RBIs in the last two games of the series against Chicago after going 11 contests without one. Daniel Murphy has rebounded from a brief slump to go 7-for-15 with a pair of homers in his last four games for Washington, while fellow all-star Bryce Harper went 5-for-14 in the series against the Cubs. The Nationals went 27-11 against Miami from 2013-14 but are just 24-23 since, including 4-5 this season.
A.J. Cole will oppose Worley on Tuesday. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA through two starts this season (one on May 6 and the most recent outing last Wednesday). Cole went five innings at Miami last week and allowed five runs on six hits and four walks during a 7-0 loss.
The Miami Marlins are:
- 3-8 in their last 11 road games against teams with winning records
- 15-36 in their last 51 road games against Washington
- 4-11 in their last 15 games that are the first in a series
The Washington Nationals are:
- 7-3 in their last 10 games against teams with losing records
- 9-2 in their last 11 games on Tuesdays
- 4-1 in their last five games against right-handed starters
Worley vs. Cole went in the Marlins’ favor last week, but that is a small sample size. Based on Worley’s overall performance in 2017, it is hard to see him keeping the Nationals’ bats silent twice in succession. An in-form Washington club simply has too many hitters in fine form right now to be stymied once again. Harper and company have also fared extremely well at home of late, including against the Marlins. Miami is 3-8 in its last 11 on the road against winning opponents and 15-36 in its last 51 at Washington. The Nationals are 7-3 in their last 10 against losing opponents and 9-2 in their last 11 on Tuesdays. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.