Series Preview: Nationals at Marlins

The Marlins will close out the home portion of their 2019 schedule against the Nationals this weekend

The Miami Marlins will host the Washington Nationals in a weekend series at Marlins Park beginning on Friday.

After this series, Miami will be on the road for the remainder of the 2019 season. The Marlins will bring a 53-99 record into the series with Washington and will try to avoid hitting the 100-loss mark at home. Washington is currently leading the Wild Card standings, but is barely holding onto the position. The Marlins will have an opportunity to be spoilers in this series.

Robert Dugger will start for Miami in the series opener on Friday. Dugger has put together three quality starts in his last four chances and has a 3.95 E.R.A thus far overall. The right-hander was roughed up in AAA, but has been a different pitcher at the big-league level. Dugger's success could put him in the mix for a spot in the 2020 rotation, with a big competition expected to take place in spring training. Despite some success so far, Dugger is still looking for his first career win.

Elieser Hernandez is penciled in for Saturday's start, as he continues to look for more efficiency on the mound. Hernandez is 3-5 with a 5.03 E.R.A this season and he has not posted a quality start in nearly a month. The 24-year old set a new personal record with nine strikeouts in his last start, but he also allowed a home run in the outing. Hernandez has allowed a home run in five of his last six starts and 20 overall in 2019.

Pablo Lopez will get the ball for the series finale on Sunday. Lopez has a 4.94 E.R.A in 2019 and he began to turn things around his last time on the mound. The right-hander had struggled mightily since returning from the injured list, before putting together a quality start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lopez has been roughed up by the Nationals this season, especially when it comes to home runs. Lopez has allowed five home runs to Washington's lineup in 6.2 innings pitched.

Miguel Rojas helped Miami win a game in Arizona, with six runs batted in on Tuesday. Rojas could continue that success in this series, as he has great career numbers against Washington's pitching staff. The veteran has a .963 OPS against the Nationals this year and he has 6 RBI in 51 at-bats.

Friday's first pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

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