The Atlanta Braves head down to Miami on Tuesday for a three-game set against the hottest team on the planet, the Miami Marlins. It will be Atlanta's first look at the new Marlins Ballpark, and the Braves' second series against Miami. The two teams split a two game series at Turner Field in mid-May, with Mark Buehrle defeating Mike Minor in the first game and Brandon Beachy defeating Ricky Nolasco in the second.
Since then, however, the Marlins have gone on a tear, going 11-5. The Fish haven't lost a series since April and are 23-9 since the beginning of May. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know who is driving the Marlins' surge. Giancarlo Stanton has been arguably the hottest hitter on the planet during the Marlins recent hot streak, and keeping him in check will be key to the Braves' success. Over the last 30 days, Stanton has hit .320/.409/.650 with 8 home runs, 26 RBI, and 3 steals. Stanton was worth 1.5 fWAR over the last 30 days, though that number has been drug down a bit by his fielding and baserunning, both of which grade out as a bit below average.
Stanton's not the only Marlin who's hotter than a dancing bobcat right now, though. Over the last month, Hanley Ramirez has posted a line of .330/.370/.606 with 6 homers, 18 RBI, and 4 steals, good for 1.3 fWAR. Jose Reyes has finally started to hit as well, posting a line of .327/.395/.391 with 14 runs, 8 RBI, and 9 steals, good for 0.8 fWAR. Shutting down the top half of the Marlins lineup will be the key for the Braves this series.
Pitching matchups after the jump
Tuesday, June 5, 7:10 PM
Wednesday, June 6, 7:10 PM
Thursday, June 7, 7:10 PM
None of these pitching matchups particularly favor Atlanta, so the Braves will have to come ready to play. Mike Minor takes his turn after being skipped in the rotation because of the rainout in Washington. Hopefully the extra rest can help Minor to clear his head and get back on the right track. With Kris Medlen stretching out in AAA, and Julio Teheran throwing a gem in his last outting, both Minor and Randall Delgado need to step up if they want to secure their spot in the rotation. That should be an interesting subplot to keep an eye on over the final two games of the series.