The last place Miami Marlins will visit the first place Philadelphia Phillies for a four-game series starting on Thursday.
Miami is 1-1 on the team's current road trip and a MLB-worst 7-17 on the season. Philadelphia is tied with the New York Mets for the division lead at 13-11. The Phillies visited Marlins Park two weeks ago and took two of the three games played.
Caleb Smith is Miami's starter for the series opener on Thursday and will a team-best 2.35 E.R.A into the game. Smith has posted three straight quality starts and has been the de facto ace of the Marlins in 2019. Smith has continued to pile up big strikeout numbers this season and he will need more of that in Philadelphia. Smith has 29 strikeouts in 23 innings this year and he has only walked six batters.
Jose Urena has turned his season around in his last two starts and will get another opportunity on Friday. Urena had a 9.22 E.R.A after his first three starts of the season, but he has given the Marlins two quality starts since then. Urena has allowed three earned runs in his last 13 innings pitched, which has lowered his E.R.A to 5.74.
Saturday's starter Trevor Richards is 0-3 and the Marlins have lost all five of his starts. Richards has not been bad in 2019, but he has been a victim of poor run support. The right-hander has a 3.79 E.R.A and has four quality starts in five chances. Richards has a .237 opposing batting average against Philadelphia's hitters, with Rhys Hoskins doing the most damage.
Pablo Lopez will start for the Marlins in Sunday's series finale. Lopez is coming off a strong start in Cleveland, where he gave Miami 6.1 shutout innings. Lopez is 2-3 on the season, with a 4.44 E.R.A and he has done a good job of keeping the ball in the park. Lopez has allowed two home runs this season and both of those came in one outing.
Miami's leading home run hitter is former Phillies Jorge Alfaro with four and this will be his first trip back to Philadelphia. Alfaro came to Miami, when the team sent J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies in the off-season. Since joining the Marlins, Alfaro has been one of Miami's best hitters. Realmuto has been solid with the Phillies as well thus far.
The series in Philadelphia will begin on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.