The Miami Marlins will open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Monday at Marlins Park.
Miami has suffered two tough losses in a row, while Washington has run away with the division thus far. The Nationals are sitting in first place in the National League East at 42-27 and the Marlins are in fourth at 30-37.
The Marlins could have swept the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park over the weekend, but gave up two leads late. The bullpen ruined decent starts from the rotation and wasted productive work from the lineup. Due to the bullpen's workload in Atlanta, manager Don Mattingly will likely hope for long starts in this series.
Justin Nicolino has been activated from the disabled list and will start for Miami in the series opener. Nicolino is likely not going to go the distance and could even be on a pitch limit in his first start back. Due to the fact Nicolino will likely only go five or so innings, Dustin McGowan is a candidate to pitch on Monday out of the pen.
In the second game of the series, Edinson Volquez will start for the Marlins. Volquez is 3-7 on the season, but is one of the better pitchers in baseball over the past month. With the exception of his last start, Volquez has been Miami's ace as of late. The right-hander will look to continue that and put his last outing behind him.
Dan Straily will start for Miami in the series finale and will have a tough task ahead of him. Max Scherzer will be on the mound for Washington and he has strung together five sparkling starts in a row. The Cy Young winner has struck out ten or more batters in each of those five starts.
After a quiet series in Atlanta, Giancarlo Stanton will look to get things going again in this series. Stanton's season overall has been strong and this could just be a small bump in the road. With Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour remaining hot in the lineup, Stanton's slumps have been less noticeable.
Monday's game will begin at 7:10 p.m.