Marlins Look To Continue Dominance Over Giants

Jose Fernandez is out for the year, but the Marlins continue to impress, especially on the road in San Francisco.

Jose Fernandez, the hard-throwing reigning NL Rookie of the Year, is out for the year, but the Marlins continue to impress, especially on the road in San Francisco.

East meets west Sunday afternoon as the Miami Marlins close out a four-game weekend series with the San Francisco Giants.

First pitch at AT&T Park in San Francisco is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.

20140517_NL_EastAfter a surprising start to the year saw the team top the jam-packed NL East standings, Miami (23-21, 6-16 road) hit a spot of turbulence last week.

First, the team lost reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez to an elbow injury, which, after inspection, was diagnosed as requiring surgery. Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery on Friday and will miss the rest of the year.

Then the team embarked on an 11-game West Coast swing, a jaunt they began with an extra innings victory over the San Diego Padres only to lose the next five games.

3,000 miles from home and looking dejected, the doctor ordered a suitable course of medication; a weekend series with the Giants.

The Marlins failed to hang onto a 4-1 lead in Thursday’s opener but as has been the case so often of late, the Bay Area surroundings would eventually smooth things out.

Miami earned a 7-5 victory on Friday night, just their fifth road win of the year, before shutting out the Giants in Saturday’s 5-0 victory.

The win marked the 12th time in 14 trips to AT&T Park that the Marlins had come away with the victory.

Now Mike Redmond’s club will look to pick up one more win before heading back to South Florida.

20140517_NL_WestUntil the arrival of Miami, San Francisco (27-17, 13-8 home) had been enjoying a purple patch.

With 15 wins in 20 games leading into the series, Bruce Bochy’s club had set up camp at the top of the NL West standings, building a comfortable lead over the highly-touted Los Angeles Dodgers.

While two consecutive losses by no means equates to a disastrous skid, the Giants will be looking to avoid a season-first three-game losing streak when they take to the diamond on Sunday. They’ll also be looking to get one of their stay pitchers back on track.

Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 4.22 ERA) will take to the mound for the Giants in Sunday’s series finale. The right-hander has had a rough time of it this season, notably in terms of run support.

After allowing four or more runs in each of his first four starts, Vogelsong looked to be on the verge of turning things around as he allowed just two runs total in his next three games. He only registered the win in one of those games, although the Giants took all three.

On Tuesday he was again roughed up, giving up seven hits and four earned runs in six innings of play. He registered a loss in the game. He’ll look to change that against the Marlins, a team he has pitched fantastically against at AT&T Park, but rarely recorded a win.

Miami will counter with Jacob Turner (0-1, 6.75 ERA). Like Vogelsong, Turner has struggled this season, allowing five or more runs in three of his four starts. In his last outing, Tuesday against the Dodgers, he pitched well through five innings but was beaten up in the sixth. He left the game after 5 1/3 innings having allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in the game.

Turner will hope the turnaround begins on Sunday, when he’ll also be looking for his first career road win. Since his major league debut in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers, he is 0-10 with a 3.97 ERA away from home.

Ryan Vogelsong is looking to find consistency and the winning formula.

Ryan Vogelsong is looking to find consistency and the winning formula.

Miami Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants odds for 05/18/2014

Playing at home, San Francisco (-145) opened as the favorite over Miami (+135) on the moneyline. The gap has increased since opening, with the Giants at -160 with some sportsbooks.

Bettors should play close attention though; the Marlins have been victorious in 16 of their last 24 games against the Giants and an even more impressively, 12 of their last 14 trips to AT&T Park. An upset could very much be on the cards this afternoon.

The total opened at 7.5.

Miami has seen the over pay out in eight of its last nine games, while San Francisco has seen the total go under in 10 of its last 15 home games.

The total has gone over in six of the last seven head-to-head matchups, and four of the last six played between the sides in the Bay Area. It looks like the smart money is on the over then.

Following Sunday’s series finale, San Francisco will hit the road for a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies (Tue-Thu) while Miami will return home for a three-game series with division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

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