Marlins Cling to Slim Playoff Hopes, Begin Series With Nationals

The Marlins are barely alive in the playoff race and now will take on the first-place Nationals

The Miami Marlins will try and improve their slim playoff chances when they host the Washington Nationals beginning on Monday.

After winning seven of eight, the Marlins have now gone 1-6 in the last week. After being swept by the Nationals, the Marlins dropped three of four to the last-place Philadelphia Phillies. Miami is five games back of the Wild Card and is running out of time to make that difference up.

The Nationals have one of the best records in baseball, but Miami likely needs to win this series to remain in contention. Taking a series from Washington is a tough assignment, but the Marlins have shown they can put together big wins at times. With the season on the line, it remains to be seen if Miami can do that once again.

Giancarlo Stanton is likely going to be the deciding factor in the series. After being the hottest hitter in baseball for a couple weeks, Stanton has slumped in the last week. Without Stanton's powerful production, the Marlins have struggled to score some runs. Stanton's slump has been part of an overall decline in Miami's run production lately.

Adam Conley will start for Miami in the series opener and he will look for a second straight quality start against the Nationals. Even though he was tagged with the loss in his last start, Conley went six strong innings. The Marlins will need that kind of performance again from the lefty.

Odrisamer Despaigne missed the series against the Nationals last week, but will take them on this time around. Despaigne has allowed four runs in ten innings since joining the rotation. Washington's lineup is stacked with talent, but Despaigne has posted a decent 4.13 E.R.A in 2017. The right-hander will likely be on a short leash in this start.

In the series finale, Miami will give Dillion Peters the ball. Peters was dominant in his Major League debut, but ended up with a no-decision. The 25-year old struck out eight in seven innings and only allowed three hits against Philadelphia. A blown save wiped away a masterful performance by Peters and now the rookie will again for his first win.

Monday's game will get underway at 7:10 p.m.

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