Kyle Kendrick: (8-10, 3.96 ERA)
No Phillies fan can honestly say they saw this coming from Kyle Kendrick. It was not so long ago that everyone was clamoring for Tyler Cloyd to get the call when Joe Blanton got shipped out, but it turns out Ruben knew what he was doing. Ok, there is no way Ruben and the rest of the brass knew Kendrick would be this good. He’s dropped his ERA nearly an entire run since the start of August, and has become a viable fantasy baseball starter as well. Among the weirdest things to happen to this Phillies club, Kendrick’s ascendence to dependable starter is the craziest.
Wade LeBlanc (2-3, 2.72 ERA)
LeBlanc is a very similar pitcher to Kendrick in that he plays the role of both reliever and starter as needed. Right now he’s called upon to start against a Phillies team who historically struggles against lefties. The Lake Charles native was good but not great in his last start, tossing 6 innings against the Brewers while giving up 3 runs. He won’t blow you away on the radar gun, but that’s not the only way to get outs in this league.
LeBlanc spent most of his career on the west coast with San Diego, so he doesn’t have much history with the Phillies. Ty Wigginton has had the most success against the lefty hitting .429 (3-8). Wigginton hasn’t gotten much playing time of late, but Charlie would be wise to find a spot for him tonight.
The Marlins are coming off a series in D.C. where their bats were on fire. Jose Reyes is one Marlin in particular who should be looking forward to tonight’s match up. Reyes is hitting .419 (13-35) off of Kendrick with two bombs. Given that Reyes seems to hit everything thrown at him at CBP he may be hard to contain not only tonight, but the whole series.
If Kendrick can find away to keep Jose off the base paths, the Phillies should have the edge against the Fish in the series opener.