The Miami Marlins will try and put a dent in the playoff hopes of the Atlanta Braves beginning on Monday.
The Braves enter the series 1.5 games back of both the division and Wild Card races. The Marlins are not in contention for a playoff spot themselves, but they have been able to have a say in the process. Miami took two games from the Washington Nationals over the weekend and kept them under the .500 mark.
With the Major League Baseball trade deadline arriving on Tuesday, the faces on both sides of the field could change during the series. Both teams have been mentioned often in trade rumors, though it is possibly neither team makes a deal. The Braves are currently buyers as they look to make a big run in the second half, while Miami could sell a few pieces or just stand pat.
Wei-Yen Chen picked up a win over the Braves last week in Miami, though Monday's start could be a tougher assignment. Chen has been an ace at Marlins Park and has struggled mightily on the road. The veteran lefty has a 10.47 E.R.A in road games this season and opposing hitters have posted a .359 average in those games.
Dan Straily is scheduled to start Tuesday's game, though that is subject to change. Straily has been mentioned in trade rumors recently and the veteran could end up on the move. The right-hander has pitched better as of late and has an E.R.A of 2.84 in July. Straily is under team control following the season, which means the Marlins could end up electing to keep him.
Pablo Lopez's rookie season will continue on Wednesday evening when he starts the series finale. Lopez is 2-2 with a 5.34 E.R.A and is coming off a loss to the Nationals. Lopez has not faced the Braves yet in his career and he has been susceptible to the home run ball. Atlanta is capable of hitting the ball out of the park often on some days and this could be a tough matchup for the 22-year old.
J.T. Realmuto is still a member of the Marlins roster and that is not likely to change. While a last-minute trade remains possible, Miami's asking price is reportedly very high. Realmuto is under team control for multiple seasons and has become one of the finest catchers in all of baseball. Realmuto does not have strong statistics against Atlanta pitching, but he has been hot as of late.
The series will begin on Monday at 7:35 p.m.