Reds vs. Marlins: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Isan Diaz #1 of the Miami Marlins looks on against the Cincinnati Reds.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – AUGUST 29: Isan Diaz #1 of the Miami Marlins looks on against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Offense has been hard to come by in South Florida.

There should be no reason for this Miami Marlins lineup to strike fear in any pitching staff. To put it bluntly, the Marlins offense is one of the worst in the senior circuit.

Entering play on Wednesday, the Fish rank last in the NL in OBP (.303), 14th in slugging (.379), and 13th in runs per game (4.01). Additionally, they are not a patient bunch. Their 343 free passes are the fewest in the league.

What the Marlins offense does well is steal bases, but even that comes with a  caveat. Miami’s 82 stolen bags trail only the Padres for top honors in the NL. Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of those swipes belong to outfielder Starling Marte who was dealt to the Oakland A’s at the trade deadline.

However, when it comes to the pitching mound, things have gone swimmingly well for the Marlins. Their team ERA of 3.84 is well below the 4.15 NL average. In addition, the pitching staff keeps the ball in the park, as evidenced by their 1.0 HR/9 rate, which is good enough for second-best in the senior circuit.

Walks do indeed haunt. When the Miami starting rotation runs into trouble, it’s usually a result of base on balls. Marlin starters issue an average of 3.48 BB/9 frames, the third-most in the National League. Needless to say, it will be in the Reds’ best interest to be patient at the plate.

Don’t let the measly 23 saves compiled by the Marlins bullpen fool you. This is a stingy bunch who can make life difficult for the Redlegs in the late innings. Miami’s bullpen surrenders the second-fewest long balls per nine innings with an impressive 0.83 mark. In addition, the relief corps 3.7 fWAR ranks third among NL bullpens.