Series Preview: Royals at Marlins

The Marlins will host the Royals in their final interleague series of the season this weekend

The Miami Marlins will wrap up the interleague portion of their schedule with a home series against the Kansas City Royals this weekend.

Miami is 50-89 as it heads into the final few weeks of the 2019 season. The Marlins put an end to a long road skid in Pittsburgh this weekend and will now hope for some success at home. The Royals at 51-90 are having a similar year to the Marlins, which could give Miami a chance to take this series.

Pablo Lopez will be Miami's starter in Friday's series opening game. Lopez is coming off a rough performance against the Washington Nationals, which lifted his E.R.A to 4.89 on the season. Lopez allowed six runs in only three innings against Washington and served up three home runs along the way. The right-hander missed a good chunk of the season due to an injury, and he has allowed ten runs in eight innings since his return.

Caleb Smith has been a different pitcher in the second half of the year, after serving as Miami's ace earlier this season. Smith's next start will come on Saturday and he will bring a 4.30 E.R.A. into the appearance. The lefty had a 3.50 E.R.A. prior to the All-Star Game, but has not been the same pitcher in recent weeks. The 28-year old has 16 runs in his last 16 innings.

Sandy Alcantara will get the ball in Sunday's series finale for the Marlins. Miami's All-Star had a solid August, after struggling mightily in July. The 23-year old has a 4.26 E.R.A. in 2019 and this will be his first career appearance against Kansas City. Alcantara has produced mixed results in his three interleague appearances this season.

Harold Ramirez began to find his stroke again in August, after a poor month of July. The outfielder has gotten off to a slow start in September however and has a .270 batting average overall. Ramirez is trying to win a starting job for Opening Day 2020 and that competition will likely continue in spring training. Miami has a number of outfield options in the minor leagues and Ramirez has been inconsistent in his 348 at-bats this year.

Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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