After taking two of three from the New York Mets, Atlanta heads down to Florida for a three-game set against the Marlins.
The Braves just saw Florida a couple of weeks ago, as they took two of three from the Marlins in Atlanta.
Florida enters the series with a record of 55-59 and is in fourth place in the National League East, 19 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies.
This past weekend, the Marlins got swept in a four-game series at the hands of the Cardinals.
As a team, the Marlins rank tenth in the National League in batting average (.249), seventh in on-base average (.320), tenth in slugging (.388), ninth in wOBA (.313), and tied for seventh in wRC+ (93).
Individually, the Marlins are being led by Mike Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, and Logan Morrison among others. Stanton is hitting .260/.336/..527 with a .369 wOBA that leads the team and a 132 wRC+ along with 25 home runs. Sanchez has put a line of .281/.361/.457 with a .357 wOBA and a 124 wRC+ while Morrison is hitting .248/.327/.458 with a .342 wOBA and 114 wRC+. Morrison missed the Marlins game on Sunday after getting stitches on his knee, but should be back for tonight's game.
Hanley Ramirez (.243/.333/.379, .318 wOBA, 97 wRC+) has missed four straight games with a left shoulder sprain but could be back tonight or tomorrow. Emilio Bonifacio has been filling in for Ramirez at short, and is hitting .286/.358/.374 with a .337 wOBA and 110 wRC+. Omar Infante is out until late August with a broken left middle finger, so the Marlins have been bitten by the injury bug lately.
Pitching match-ups after the jump...
Monday, August 8th, 7:10 PM EDT
In game one of the series, Derek Lowe (6-10, 4.86 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 3.65 xFIP) takes on Brad Hand. So far in 2011, Hand is 1-3 with a 2.86 ERA, 6.33 FIP, and 5.52 xFIP so he's in line for some regression here pretty soon. He has more walks than strikeouts (22 walks to 21 strikeouts) and is an extreme fly-ball pitcher with a ground-ball percentage of only 31.0%. Hand has also been very lucky on balls in play, as his BABIP sits at .188 which is entirely unsustainable. Hand works primarily off of his fastball, throwing a four-seamer 54.2 % of the time and a two-seamer 18.8% of the time. He doesn't throw very hard, sporting an average fastball velocity of just under 90 miles per hour. He throws a change-up, slider, and a curve, with the change-up being his primary off-speed pitch. Hand faced Atlanta in his first major league start back on June 7th, giving up one hit and one run while walking none and striking out six in six innings of work. In his last start, he went five innings, giving up seven hits and two runs while walking one and striking out four against the Mets. He has failed to throw more than five innings in four of his last five starts.
Tuesday, August 9th, 7:10 PM EDT
Brandon Beachy (5-2, 3.49 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 3.54 xFIP) takes on Clay Hensley in game two of the series. On the year, Hensley is 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and 5.34 xFIP. Hensley began the season as a reliever, but has moved into the rotation and will be making his 5th start of the season on Tuesday. He has identical K/9 and BB/9 rates of 4.72 on the season. Hensley primarily uses a two-seam fastball, throwing it 45.1% of the time at an average velocity of 87.2 miles per hour. He has three off-speed pitches, a slider, curve, and a change-up. Of those three, he uses the change-up the most at 29.2% percent of the time. In his last start, Hensley lasted only 2.1 innings, giving up three hits and six runs while walking three and striking out one against the Cardinals.
Wednesday, August 10th, 7:10 PM EDT
In the series finale, Tim Hudson (11-7, 3.22 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 3.45 xFIP) goes up against Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez is 6-5 with a 3.73 ERA, 3.26 FIP, and 3.08 xFIP so far in 2011. He has a K/9 of 9.33 and a BB/9 of 2.61 so he strikes out a large amount of hitters but doesn't walk many. Sanchez throws three different fastballs, a four-seam, two-seam, and a cutter. All three fastballs have an average velocity of just under 92 miles per hour. He features three off-speed pitches as well, a slider, curve, and a change-up. His slider is his go to off-speed selection, as he throws it 25.5% of the time. In his last outing, Sanchez gave up eight hits and three runs while walking two and striking out seven in 7.1 innings of work against the Cardinals en route to a loss.
Leo Nunez -RH (CL)
Michael Dunn -LH
Brian Sanches -RH
Randy Choate -LH
Edward Mujica -RH
Burke Badenhop -RH
Steve Cishek -RH