The Miami Marlins will look to avoid their 100th loss of the season in a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning on Monday.
Miami will enter the series against Arizona with a 52-97 record on the season and has a chance to make an impact on the Wild Card standings. The Diamondbacks are 5.5 games back of a playoff spot and they are running out of time. Arizona is 76-74 on the year and it has dropped seven of the last ten games it has played.
Pablo Lopez has never faced the Diamondbacks, but that will change when he starts on Monday. Lopez is 5-8 with a 4.97 E.R.A. this season and has had a rough stretch recently. The right-hander has made four starts since returning from the injured list and Miami has lost each of those games. Lopez will likely contend for a spot in Miami's 2020 rotation, but he is far from a guarantee to win a role.
Caleb Smith beat Arizona earlier this year and he will get another chance to face them on Tuesday. Smith is 8-10 with a 4.13 E.R.A. overall in 2019, but he has not picked up a win in over a month. The lefty held Arizona to four runs in seven innings in late July and he struck out nine during the effort. Smith was Miami's ace earlier this season, but he has been inconsistent in the second half.
Sandy Alcantara has quietly became Miami's best starter recently, though he does still serve up too many hits at times. Alcantara will get the ball for the series finale on Wednesday and will bring a 3.93 E.R.A into the contest. The 24-year old has a 1.96 E.R.A this month and has only allowed one run in his last 18 innings of work.
Miami's offense has been struggling, but Starlin Castro may have a big series in Arizona. Castro has solid numbers against Arizona's pitching staff in his career and he has been a better hitter on the road in 2019. The veteran is likely not in Miami's plans for 2020, but he could end his time with the Marlins in a positive way. Castro is hitting .267 with 19 home runs and 78 runs batted in this year.
Monday's game will get underway at 9:40 p.m.