Marlins, like the Pirates, are struggling
Like the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Miami Marlins enter this series trending in the wrong direction. While their struggles have not been as severe as the struggles of the Pirates the Marlins have still lost 5 games in a row and 6 of their last 7 contests entering the series.
The most recent lost for the Marlins was an especially painful one. Wednesday night they entered the 9th inning leading the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3. Well, 7 Blue Jays would step to the plate in the 9th inning. The first 5 reached, which led to the game being tied at 5 and Toronto having the bases loaded with no one out. Following a ground out to third base, Joe Panik hit a sacrifice fly to center filed to cap off the Blue Jay rally in a 6-5 Marlin loss.
There is a good chance that there is plenty of ugly offense in this series. With 207 runs scored the Marlins rank 12th out of 15 NL team, while the Pirates rank 14th with 183 runs scored. Pitching has carried the day for the Marlins, as they entered play on Wednesday with the 5th best team ERA (3.44) in the NL.
The Marlins have also been one of the best defensive teams in the NL thus far this season. Entering play on Wednesday the Marlins owned a team Defensive Runs Saved of +21 which put them 4th best in the NL. While the Miami offense may not do much to help themselves in this series, odds are, the Miami pitching staff and defense will be a challenge for the Pirates.