MLB PREVIEWS |

Boston Red Sox vs. Miami Marlins Preview and Predictions 09-17-2020

The Boston Red Sox and the host Miami Marlins will conclude their three-game series with the rubber match on Thursday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Boston won the opener 2-0 on Tuesday. Miami won Wednesday's game 8-4.

On Thursday, it will be a battle of right-handers as Miami will start Jose Urena (0-1, 7.71 ERA). Boston will counter with former Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 4.82).

Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro, who slugged two homers on Wednesday, is not expected to catch Thursday. Alfaro was removed in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game after he took a foul ball off his mask, and he has had concussion issues in the past.

Chad Wallach is expected to replace Alfaro on Thursday. Interestingly, Urena's ERA when Alfaro catches him is 6.04 in 19 games. Urena's ERA in four games caught by Wallach is much better at 4.30.

This will be Urena's third career start against Boston. So far, he has no record but a solid 3.46 ERA.

Urena, 29, has spent most of this season on the injured list. In his two appearances, covering 9 1/3 innings, Urena has allowed nine hits, seven walks and eight earned runs. He has struck out just four batters and could be in danger of losing his rotation spot if he doesn't turn things around quickly.

Eovaldi, 30, went 13-27 in two-plus seasons with the Marlins. Miami traded him to the New York Yankees in December 2014, and Eovaldi went on to help Boston win the 2018 World Series.

In his career against the Marlins, Eovaldi is 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA in three starts. He is also 6-15 with a 4.43 ERA in 34 starts at Marlins Park, his former home stadium.

This season, the Red Sox are 4-3 when Eovaldi starts. However, he missed about one month due to a right calf injury, returning to pitch three innings -- allowing one run -- last Saturday at Tampa Bay.

"I felt a grab," Eovaldi said of his initial injury. "I thought I would be out a day or two."

It turned out to be much longer than that, but the Red Sox are grateful he's back now.

Both teams are also expected to get their standout center fielders back in the lineup -- Jackie Bradley Jr. for Boston and Starling Marte for Miami.

Marte has sparked the Marlins since they acquired him on Aug. 31 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 16 games since the trade, Marte has produced a .772 OPS, three homers and 11 RBIs.

"I hate taking him out of the lineup," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Marte. "But he's a little beat up. He has a collateral damage from all those games (seven in five days) against the (Philadelphia Phillies)."

The surprising Marlins, who are in second place in the National League East -- one year removed from losing 105 games -- are feeling pretty confident. In fact, this is the first time the Marlins have been in a playoff race this late in a season since they won the World Series in 2003.

Garrett Cooper, now in his third season with the Marlins, talked about the feeling on the team after he slugged a two-run homer on Wednesday.

"The past few years have been a struggle, but this is a fun group," Cooper said. "This year is something special."

--Field Level Media

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Marlins Park
Miami, Florida, USA.
Capacity: 37,000

Last Injuries

Miami Marlins

  • Magneuris Sierra

    Hamstring
    Late Sept | 10-day IL

    Sierra has been ticketed for the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain. He is likely to be activated near the end of September.

  • Jon Berti

    Finger
    Late Sept | 10-day IL

    Berti has been moved to the 10-day injured list with a right index finger contusion, and he is not projected to return until the latter part of September.

  • Isan Diaz

    Groin
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Diaz will spend the remainder of the season on the 45-day injured list with a left groin injury.

  • Matt Joyce

    Rest
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Joyce is not expected to be in the starting lineup for Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader versus the Nationals.

  • Jorge Alfaro

    Head
    Prob Fri | probable

    Alfaro sat out the last game due to a head injury, but it is projected that he will bounce back in time for Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader versus the Nationals.

  • Brandon Leibrandt

    Elbow
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Leibrandt has been shuttled to the 45-day injured list with left elbow ulnar neuritis. He will miss the remainder of the season.

  • Francisco Cervelli

    Concussion
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Cervelli has been transferred to the 45-day injured list as he goes through the league's concussion protocol. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

  • Isan Diaz

    Groin
    Ques Mon | questionable

    Diaz exited the last game due to left groin tightness, and it is unknown if he will play against the Phillies in Game 2 of Monday's doubleheader.

Boston Red Sox

  • Alex Verdugo

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Verdugo missed the last game due to left hamstring tightness. It is unclear if he will play against the Yankees on Sunday.

  • Andrew Triggs

    Arm
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Triggs is expected to be on the 10-day injured list for the remainder of the season due to right radial nerve irritation.

  • Yairo Munoz

    Back
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Munoz has been assigned to the 10-day injured list with lower-back spasms. Team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Kyle Hart

    Hip
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Hart has transitioned to the 45-day injured list with a left hip impingement, and he is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

  • Josh Taylor

    Shoulder
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Taylor has popped up on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder tendinitis, and there is no exact timetable for his return.

  • Colten Brewer

    Finger
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Brewer has been transferred to the 45-day injured list with a strained middle finger and will not return this season.

  • Austin Brice

    Back
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Brice is likely to miss the remainder of the season while on the 10-day injured list with a lat strain.

  • Xander Bogaerts

    Rest
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bogaerts is not expected to be in the starting lineup Sunday against the Rays as he will be given the day to rest.

miami-marlins Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB