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The Marlins Are Bad and the Phillies Should Beat Them Tonight

May 2, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

By Matt Hammond

Forget about the Phillies for a moment. The Marlins (8-20) co-own the worst record in baseball with the Astros. They rank in the bottom two of every major offensive category, with a .229/.289/.312 line, and are on pace to score fewer than 500 runs this year, which would make for a 43-year first.

Giancarlo Stanton is not playing.

For the home angle: Since 2010, the Phillies are 37-20 against Miami, good for their most wins against any opponent. Tonight’s starter, Kyle Kendrick, is undefeated in his last nine (7-0) against them. He last earned a loss as a starter to the Marlins in Sept. 2008. The Phils are 8-1 in his last nine starts vs. Miami since 2010.

In all, Kendrick’s 9-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 14 lifetime starts vs. the Fish. He’s also got a 2.41 ERA overall this season, the best in the Phillies rotation.

And, he’s going on six days rest tonight. Kendrick likes. Drop season debuts and mid-year rotation promotions, and Kendrick sports a 6-3 mark a 2.18 ERA in 17 career starts with an extra day, to just 20-9 with a 3.96 ERA on normal rest.

Save for Chis Coglan (5 of 11, 2 RBI, 2 BB) and Juan Pierre (2 for 5, 2B), current Marlins are 7 for 52 (.134) with 13 Ks (25.0%) and one walk (0.1%) against KK in his career.

Miami’s starter tonight, Alex Sanabia has the worst K/BB among NL starters. (Then again, Jake Westbrook, Jeff Locke and James McDonald are Nos. 2 thru 4, and yet are 1-0 with a 3.17 ERA against the Phillies this year.) Oddly, Sanabia has a top 20 F-Strike% in the NL.

Read: the Phillies will get pitches to hit.

The Marlins have only one left-handed reliever on the roster, Mike Dunn. He’s been good: 1-0 with a 1.39 ERA. But there’s only one of him. For the first time so far, the Phils will alternate batting sides with every spot through the seven-hole. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are again split in the order.

Late-game matchups shouldn’t be an issue.

Delmon Young may be less than good in right field, where he’ll debut tonight and play for the first time since 2007. Even then, John Mayberry Jr.’s fielding percentage as a center fielder (Ben Revere’s out with a bum finger) in 50 games last year was .992 – even with Shane Victorino.

So yeah. This should not happen tonight. Or tomorrow. Or…

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