The Miami Marlins will host the Tampa Bay Rays for the annual Citrus Series beginning on Monday.
The Rays have won eight of their last nine games and all of those victories came against World Series contending teams. Tampa Bay moved above .500 with the strong homestand, while Miami is sitting at 34-51 in 2018.
Wei-Yin Chen will get the starting assignment for Miami on Monday. Chen has lost his last two outings, but he was solid in one of them. Chen is coming off a six-inning one-run appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the season, Chen is 2-5 with a 6.14 E.R.A overall.
Elieser Hernandez is 0-5 in his rookie season and will have another chance for his first win on Tuesday. Hernandez has struggled with efficiency and has yet to pitch more than five innings in any start. The 23-year old could potentially find himself back in Miami's bullpen at some point. With a surplus of starting pitchers, the Marlins may find Hernandez is better suited for a relief role at this time. Jose Urena is due back soon and this start could help Miami make a decision.
Trevor Richards will start Wednesday's series finale with his rotation spot also possibly on the line. Miami will have six starters once Urena returns and it is unlikely the team sticks with a bigger rotation. With Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez having success in their big-league debuts, Miami could want to get extended looks at the two pitchers. Richards has been inconsistent and was already optioned back to the minors once this season.
J.T. Realmuto can make a final push for All-Star Game votes in this series. Realmuto is leading all catchers in a number of statistical categories, but is sitting in fifth place in balloting. Realmuto will likely represent Miami in the game regardless and could be the team's only player at the Midsummer Classic.
Monday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.