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Phillies Marlins NL Wild Card Preview

Preview: Red October officially begins with the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the Miami Marlins in a 3-game series at Citizens Bank Park

The Philadelphia Phillies (90-72) completed the 2023 MLB regular season with a 9-1 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday, marking the first time the ball club reached 90 wins since the 2011 season. 

The stage is now set for the postseason and while we thought that the Phillies would draw the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card, the Miami Marlins secured the No. 5 spot in the final playoff standings.

MLB Postseason Bracket:

Phillies Marlins Wild Card

The Marlins will begin their quest for the franchise’s third World Series title after losing 3-0 to the Pirates on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The D-Backs (84-78) lost to the Astros in their regular season finale on Sunday, which secured the No. 5 seed for the Marlins.

Miami will now travel to Citizens Bank Park to face the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series at 8:08pm EST. 

NL Wild Card – Miami Marlins vs Philadelphia Phillies 

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 3rd – 8:08PM EST
  • Game 2: Wednesday, October 4th – 8:08PM EST 
  • Game 3 (If Necessary): Thursday, October 5th – 8:08PM EST
  • All three games will be aired on ESPN

The Miami Marlins will send starting pitchers Jesús Luzardo and Braxton Garrett to the mound for Game 1 and Game 2 against the Phillies. With Sandy Alcantara and rookie Eury Pérez both injured, Edward Cabrera or Johnny Cueto would likely get the start in Game 3, if necessary.

Starting Pitchers: Marlins vs Phillies – NL Wild Card

  • Game 1: LHP Jesus Luzardo (10-9, 3.63) vs RHP Zack Wheeler (13-6, 3.61)
  • Game 2: LHP Braxton Garrett (9-7, 3.66 ERA) vs RHP Aaron Nola (12-9, 4.46 ERA)
  • Game 3: TBD vs TBD  

For the Phillies, they will send Zack Wheeler to the mound, with Aaron Nola slated to pitch in Game 2 on Wednesday night. Ranger Suarez would likely get the start in Game 3, assuming he isn’t used out of the bullpen in Game 1 or Game 2.

If Suarez is used in relief, that would leave Rob Thomson and company with a decision to start either Taijuan Walker or Cristopher Sanchez in Game 3. Personally, I would go Sanchez but for now, lets just hope it’s not necessary.

Zack Wheeler vs Marlins (2023) 

  • April 12: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K 
  • July 7th: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 7 K 
  • August 2nd: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K 

Aaron Nola vs Marlins (2023)

  • April 11th: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 6 K 
  • July 9th: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 6 K 
  • September 9th: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 6 K 

The Season Series Doesn’t Paint a Full Picture

The Phillies finished their regular season matchup with the Marlins posting a losing record of 5-7. At Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies went 2-4 against the Fish and most recently, they lost 2 of 3 back in early September. 

  • April 10th (home): 15-3 win
  • April 11th (home): 8-4 loss
  • April 13th (home): 3-2 loss (10 innings)
  • July 7th (road): 4-3 win
  • July 8th (road): 5-3 loss
  • July 9th (road): 7-3 loss
  • July 10th (road): 4-2 win
  • August 1st (road): 3-1 win
  • August 2nd (road): 9-8
  • August 3rd (road): 4-2 win
  • September 8th (home): 3-2 loss
  • September 9th (home): 8-4 win
  • September 10th (home): 5-4 loss

To recap the season series against the Marlins. The Phillies outscored them 64-55. Four of the seven losses to the Fish were 1-run baseball games and two of them went to extra innings. On the flip side, the Phillies won 2 of 6 by 4+ runs and posted a 4-3 record over the last two series. 

Also worth noting, the Miami Marlins have a MISERABLE run differential and are the worst team in the playoffs at -56. They have survived all season by winning close baseball games, posting a 33-13 record in one run games and the majority of the time, they had no business winning any of them. 

So yeah, when people tell me they are worried about the Miami Marlins coming into Citizens Bank Park in the postseason and winning a 3-game series against the Phillies, I honestly just laugh. 

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The Marlins posted a clean 4-0 record against the Phillies this season when Luzardo and Garrett were on the mound. While the record looks great, both pitchers are hittable and have a combined 4.43 ERA in those games. 

Luzardo was 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA against the Phillies this season with 14 strikeouts in 12.1 innings of work while Braxton Garrett posted a 2-0 record but holds a 5.40 ERA with 8 strikeouts in just 10 innings of work against the Phillies this season. 

Jesus Luzardo vs Phillies (2023)

  • April 11th: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, HR, BB, 5 K 
  • July 9th: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, HR, BB, 9 K 

Braxton Garrett vs Phillies (2023)

  • July 8th: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K 
  • August 2nd: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K 

Phillies Lineup vs Jesus Luzardo

Really, the numbers for the Phillies against Luzardo aren’t much to even talk about. In fact, they are pretty rough to even look at. Here’s how they enter tomorrow night’s game against Luzardo.

  • Trea Turner: 0-8, 2K
  • Bryce Harper: 1-9, 5 K
  • Alec Bohm: 1-11, 4 K
  • JT Realmuto: 1-13, 5 K
  • Nick Castellanos: 2-7, 4 K
  • Kyle Schwarber: 2-9, 5 K

I know Phillies fans are looking at those numbers and are nervous about the Marlins in the Wild Card but honestly, I couldn’t be more confident in this Phillies team playing with home field advantage at Citizens Bank Park. 

If anything, the Marlins should be kicking themselves that they have to come play baseball in South Philadelphia as the No. 2 NL Wild Card team. That put them on a collision course with a sold out Citizens Bank Park, at night, with a roster that has little-to-no playoff experience. 

You think that’s going to end well for Luzardo and the Fish? I highly doubt it. 

  • Jesús Luzardo at home: 3.07 ERA; .216/.285/.369/.654
  • Jesús Luzardo on the road: 4.48 ERA; .276/.329/.470./.798

Marlins Bullpen: One of the worst in Major League Baseball since September 1st

  • WHIP – 1.47 (25th)
  • HR Allowed – 18 (t26th)
  • ERA – 5.16 (26th)
  • Opp. OPS – .800 (27th)

Home Cooking: Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are 22-11 in playoff games at Citizens Bank Park. That’s tied for the best home winning percentage at any ballpark in Major League Baseball history (minimum 30 playoff games). 

Point being, Citizens Bank Park is a very legitimate home field advantage for The Fightins, and it’s going to be “Bedlam at the Bank” yet again, starting tonight. 

Oh! There’s also this guy on the Phillies named Bryce Harper.

Not sure if you’re familiar, but here’s a reminder that Bryce Harper is batting .352 with 81 hits, 15 home runs, 45 RBIs, and 49 runs scored over 67 games at Citizens Bank Park this season. 

Just like last year, the Phillies are built to win short series.

They have a deeper rotation, bullpen, and lineup than most teams in the National League and now have the experience that they lacked during last year’s postseason. 

Red October officially begins tonight. Ring the bell.

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