The Miami Marlins will try to make it five straight series wins when they take on the Atlanta Braves beginning on Friday.
Miami has won four consecutive series for the first time since 2015 and has played better ball despite the loss of several veterans. The Marlins have multiple players on the disabled list and also completed a series of trades with contending teams.
At 51-55, Miami is still far back in the playoff standings and has little chance of changing that. The Marlins are giving their front office plenty to think about however and they possibly could change any potential rebuild plans that were scheduled. While Miami is not expected to reach the playoffs this season, the current roster could be showing that it is close to being a contender.
Reaching the .500 mark would be seen as a great achievement for Miami and it is now within a reach. Atlanta has played decently in home games this season at the new SunTrust Park. The Marlins have only visited the new building once this season thus far and offense is often the key to the game at the site.
After feasting on Nationals' pitching at times in the last series, Miami will hope that the bats headed north with the team. The Marlins will need production up and down the lineup, to potentially outscore a sometimes potent Atlanta lineup. One key to Miami's offense in the series could be Tyler Moore. With Justin Bour on the shelf, Moore is splitting time at first base with Tomas Telis. Moore could see the bulk of at-bats in this however.
On the mound for Miami in the series opener will be Adam Conley. The lefty has been magnificent since returning from AAA and has brought back memories of his work from 2016. Conley can be dominant at times and works quickly to throw off the other team's rhythm. Conley's current 5.11 E.R.A is deceiving and is the product of a poor April.
In the middle game of the series, Dan Straily will pitch for the Marlins. With the trade rumors over, Straily can focus on the game once again. While the veteran may not use it an excuse, Straily's numbers took a hit recently. At the same time Straily struggled, his name was floated in plenty of trade talks. Straily was one of the finer pitchers in baseball until the recent stretch and he may be set to re-gain that form again.
In the series finale on Sunday, Miami will turn to Jose Urena. The right-hander is 9-5 on the year and will once again look for his tenth win. In his last outing, Urena went eight innings and only allowed one run. Despite that effort, Urena was tagged with the loss as Miami was shutout and nearly no-hit.
The series will begin on Friday at 7:35 p.m.