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NL East Showdown: Mets at Marlins

National League East rivals begin an important three-game series on Friday in southern Florida when the New York Mets visit the Miami Marlins. The current line has Miami favored at -137, New York on +125 and the over/under run total on 8.5.

Entering this game, New York is 50-44 overall and 24-24 on the road. The Mets are 4-6 over their past 10 games played. Miami entering this series is 53-43 overall and 24-19 at home. The Marlins are 8-2 over their past 10 games played. Miami is now in second place in the NL East 4 ½ games behind Washington.

New York will send Logan Verrett to the mound on Friday. The Mets right-hander is 3-6 with an ERA of 4.21 on the season. Miami will counter with Adam Conley. The Marlins left-hander is 6-5 with an ERA of 3.61 this season.

Verrett improved tremendously during his most recent outing. He is playing in place of Matt Harvey the veteran hurler who is out injured. Verrett surrendered just 2 runs over six innings but did not get a decision against the Phillies. He gave up 3 hits in six innings April 13 against the Marlins.

Conley tied his season high in strikeouts with 9 in his most recent outing last Sunday. However, he did not get a decision in that game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He has won three straight overall. In three meetings during his career against New York, Conley has 17 strikeouts and just 2 walks.

New York is not used to trailing Miami, but the Mets are 1 ½ games behind their NL East rivals and 6 games behind first place Washington. Terry Collins the Mets manager said on Thursday that his team must at least win two of three games in this season to pick up a minimum of one game on Miami.

The Mets lost to the Cubs on Thursday, but won 2 of the 3 games they played Miami in early June, which was the last time the two teams met head to head. Miami defeated Philadelphia on Thursday on the road. Christian Yelich extended his current hitting streak to eight games.

Ichiro Suzuki the veteran outfielder for Miami needs just 4 hits to reach 3,000 for his career.

Derek Dietrich a second baseman for the Marlins had 3 hits Thursday and has five in five games this season versus the Mets.

Prediction: The NL East is turning into a three-team race. The Marlins are hot, lean on the home team in the south Florida heat.

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