The Miami Marlins will start their second half with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning on Friday.
Miami ended the first half with two straight wins and picked up a second consecutive series win. The Marlins are 41-57 overall this season, but they have played winning baseball since early June. The Rays went 49-47 in the first half and dropped three of their last four contests.
The Marlins will have a very difficult start to the second half of the year, with plenty of playoff contenders on the schedule. After the Rays, Miami will have series with the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.
Dan Straily will get Friday's starting assignment for the Marlins and he will be looking for a fifth straight quality start. Straily has lowered his E.R.A. to 4.29 on the season due to his terrific July. In this month, the veteran has a 2.84 E.R.A to go along with a solid opposing batting average of .206.
Pablo Lopez's rookie season will continue in Saturday's outing. Lopez went 1-1 with a 6.35 E.R.A in the first half and only had one good appearance thus far. Lopez has a 1.35 WHIP and his command has gotten away from him. Lopez has seen his walk totals increase in each start thus far, while also giving up a few too many hits.
Sunday's series finale will feature rookie Trevor Richards on the mound for the Marlins. Richards posted one of his best starts of the year, in his final appearance prior to the All-Star Game. Richards has a 3-5 record to go along with a 4.74 E.R.A in 2018.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.