The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals will face off in the third and final game of the series today. The Cardinals won the first two games, and they are going for the sweep today. They have also won 8 straight games against the Marlins dating back to last season. The Cardinals won Game 1, 5-1, after they scored a bunch of early runs off the lefty, Jesus Luzardo. They are very good against lefties, but they are much worse against righties. They are ranked just 16th in the league in wOBA against righties while the Marlins are ranked 10th in the league in wOBA against righties.
Jordan Hicks will be starting for the Cardinals and there are plenty of question marks surrounding him. He is coming off a major injury and he has pitched just 14 innings since 2019. He did pitch well in relief in his first two games this season but starting is completely different. The Cardinals closer, Giovanny Gallegos, should be unavailable after pitching in each of the last two games, and I think they could end up with a bullpen heavy game. The Cardinals actually have the best bullpen in the league right now with a 1.76 ERA, but they should be pitching a decent amount of innings today.
Pablo Lopez is expected to get the start for the Marlins, and this will be his third start of the season. He pitched very well in the first two games this season allowing just 1 ER total in 10.1 IP. He was also significantly better at home last season putting up a 2.34 ERA, whereas on the road he had a 4.34 ERA. The Marlins bullpen is ranked just 18th in the league, but they should be rested after pitching just one inning last night. I think that combined with the expected extra bullpen innings today should help them close the performance gap between their bullpen and the Cardinals.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cardinals rest a player or two today after winning the first two games of this series. The Marlins need a win bad, but they just won 3 out of 4 games against the Phillies at home and they are 3-3 at home this season. I think they will be able to salvage a win today to avoid getting swept and losing their 9th straight game to the Cardinals.