The Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians will start a two-game interleague series at Progressive Field on Tuesday.
Miami and Cleveland will play four games over the next week, with the two other contests coming at Marlins Park. The 6-16 Marlins will be bringing the worst record in baseball into the series with the Indians. Cleveland meanwhile sits at 12-9 on the season and is currently tied for a Wild Card spot.
These two franchises have some history, with the Marlins claiming their first World Series title in a seven-game series against the Indians in 1997. Cleveland has not won a World Series championship since 1948 and has been back to the title round just once since that loss in 1997.
In addition to the championship history in the series, the Indians also have a former Marlin on their roster. Cleveland's closer is one-time Miami pitcher Brad Hand and he has become one of the best relievers in baseball. Hand's time with the Marlins produced mixed results, while he has been an All-Star twice since Miami waived him.
Pablo Lopez will start for Miami in Tuesday's series opener, following a string of three consecutive losses. Lopez has been decent at times, but has given up too many hits thus far in 2019. Lopez is 1-3 with a 5.85 E.R.A this season and his efficiency has been an issue. The right hander has been unable to last six innings in any of his four starts this season, after doing so a number of times in 2018.
Sandy Alcantara will get the ball on Wednesday, after giving up 11 earned runs in his last 11 innings pitched. Alcantara started the year with an exceptional outing, but he has struggled ever since. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.09 E.R.A. through four starts in 2019 and things may not get any easier in Cleveland. The Indians have had no trouble scoring runs at times this season and they have made multiple pitchers pay for mistakes.
Starlin Castro leads Miami with his .247 batting average, a number that tells the story of the team's weak offense. Castro has heated up over the past week with a .353 average and two runs batted in. The improvement for Castro helped the Miami take a series from Washington over the weekend.
Curtis Granderon has seven runs batted in on the season, which leads the Marlins in that category. Granderson has struggled to get on base, but he has shown power in the early part of the season. The veteran outfielder is batting .155, with three home runs and a double. Granderson will likely continue to see spot starts for the Marlins.
The series in Cleveland will begin on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m.