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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers @ Miami Marlins

The team with the National League’s best record heads to South Florida to face the team with the National League’s worst record

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins
It’s been a rough first full year in the majors for Lewis Brinson.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After taking 3 of 4 from the best team in the National League East, the Brewers now hit the road to face the worst team in the National League East.

The Miami Marlins come into this three-game series with a record of 37-55, the worst record in the National League. If there’s a bright side, it’s that they’re only a game worse than the New York Mets, so they at least have company in the cellar.

As expected when they traded away their young core this offseason, the Marlins simply aren’t very good at anything this year, ranking in the bottom 10 of just about every statistical category. Again, if there’s good news, it’s that they could make a case that they’re not the absolute worst team in baseball.

They actually have a handful of quality hitters in the lineup, but their home ballpark and their overall youth has gotten in the way of them being a truly productive offense. All-Star J.T. Realmuto is the biggest remaining threat in the lineup after the offseason trades of Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon. He’s hitting .317/.368/.551 with 12 home runs and 20 doubles and is likely the next player to be shipped out of town now that he’s in his arbitration years, although with three years of team control left, he won’t come cheap.

Old enemy Starlin Castro is actually putting together a good season, no longer swinging at everything and hitting .298/.346/.412. Utility man (and possible Brewers trade target) Derek Dietrich has also put up 2 WAR already this year while hitting .289/.355/.455 and rookie Brian Anderson has been a quality find at third base with a .282/.359/.407 line.

Old friend Lewis Brinson has struggled for much of the year, hitting just .186/.232/.338 on the year, but he seemed to be turning a corner a bit before he landed on the disabled list on the 4th of July. In the month of June, Brinson hit .267/.301/.547, good for an .848 OPS as he started to make more contact and hit the ball with more authority. Unfortunately, he’ll miss this series -- although he did homer three times in the previous four games against the Brewers earlier this year.

Probable Pitchers

Monday - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Chase Anderson vs. Jose Urena

Tuesday - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Pablo Lopez

Wednesday - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Freddy Peralta vs. Dan Straily

Urena had a rough start to the year, which included giving up 5 runs to the Cubs on Opening Day and 4 runs in 5 innings to the Brewers in their meeting in late April. But he’s slowly become more consistent over the course of the first half, and has put up quality starts in 3 of his last 4 outings, including two 0-run efforts. Sure, those came against the Orioles and the Rays, but it’s something. He’s gotten his ERA down to 4.18 in that time frame with a FIP of 3.61.

A part of the return the Marlins got from Seattle for David Phelps last July, the 22-year-old Lopez will be making his third career start this week. His big league debut was solid -- only 2 earned runs over 6 innings on a pair of solo home runs -- but it came against the Mets. His second outing was a bit more rough -- in a game he was spotted a 9-run lead against the Nationals, he eventually gave up 5 runs in a game the Marlins went on to lose 14-12.

The Marlins were likely hoping Straily would be another attractive trade piece of them -- especially after they gave up the young, hard-throwing Luis Castillo to get him in a trade with Cincinnati when they had brief delusions of contention before last season -- but it hasn’t quite panned out. Despite the pitcher-friendly confines of Marlins Park, Straily has been thoroughly mediocre for the Marlins and has been barely above replacement level this year. He carries a 4.55 ERA into Wednesday’s start, but FIP says that number should be closer to 6. He’s walked 32 batters in 65.1 innings this year and is trying to avoid giving up 30+ home runs for the third year in a row.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference