After dropping two of three to the Rays, 10.5 games now separate the Diamondbacks and the first-place Giants. Arizona now looks to take advantage of the third-place team in the NL East, the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins have not been the disappointment that has defined their franchise for the past couple seasons. They sit at a fair 31-29 record, only five games behind the first-place Nationals. This, keep in mind, has been accomplished without much production from Giancarlo Stanton, who’s batting .197.
The bright spots in Miami’s lineup have been youngsters Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, who lead National League outfielders in batting average, batting .324 and .323 respectively. Jose Fernandez, who the Diamondbacks have the challenge of facing, has returned to his dominant self after returning from Tommy John surgery late last season. Fernandez has pitched to a 2.29 ERA and 1.06 WHIP this season, most recently tossing a gem against the Mets by striking out fourteen in seven innings of work.