The Miami Marlins will start a road trip with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds beginning on Friday.
The Marlins have won four of their last five games and are now 11-19 on the season. Miami has won six of eight overall and has enjoyed some superb pitching along the way. After starting the year with struggles in all areas, the Marlins have found their footing.
Part of the reason for Miami's recent success, is the return of several veterans to the roster. One of those men will take the mound for the series opener and he is coming off a victory. Wei-Yin Chen will start Friday's game, after allowing only one run in 5.1 innings during his 2018 debut. Chen struck out three and was efficient during the appearance.
Caleb Smith will be Miami's starter on Saturday against the 7-24 Reds. Smith gave Miami seven shutout innings his last time out and has been piling up the strikeouts. Smith has struck out a combined 19 hitters in his last two appearances for the Marlins.
Dan Straily will make his second start of the season in the series finale on Sunday. Straily appeared rusty in his 2018 debut and will hope for better results against the Reds. In his start against the Philadelphia Phillies, Straily allowed four runs in four innings. The Phillies hit two home runs off Straily in spacious Marlins Park.
Miami's bullpen has been a big reason for the team's wins this season, but it will have a tough assignment in Cincinnati. Even though the Reds have the worst record in baseball, they still have power in the lineup. Cincinnati's home ballpark is also a hitter's park and walks can lead to big innings. The Marlins will need plenty of command from their relievers during these three games.
Starlin Castro has been Miami's most consistent hitter this season and should be well rested for this series. Castro had his first day off this season on Wednesday and then also rested on Thursday. The veteran second baseman could be able to leave the yard for the first time during this series. Castro is sitting on 99 career home runs.
Lewis Brinson has begun to heat up for Miami, after a rather sluggish start to his Marlins career. Brinson has at least one hit in six of his last eight games played. The 23-year old has knocked in nine runs this year and has also swiped one base.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.