Phillies: Four things to watch for in first Marlins series
The Phillies start their first series of the year against the Marlins Friday night. What should fans be looking for during this weekend’s action?
After a disappointing series loss to the Nationals, the Phillies are looking to turn things around this weekend against the Marlins. The Marlins enter this series 3-10 with four straight losses and eight losses in their last nine games, a godsend for a team looking for a pick-me-up like Philadelphia.
What should fans look to see from this weekend’s series?
Zach Eflin’s continued success
For all the issues the pitching staff has had this year, Zach Eflin is not one of them. The young righty has easily been the best starter and arguably the best pitcher on the team.
Eflin gave up just one run in his first two starts. He started his season striking out nine Nationals in five shutout innings in Bryce Harper‘s return to Washington. Eflin then pitched seven strong innings Sunday against the Twins, striking out five batters and giving up just one run.
Eflin ranks fourth among National League pitchers with 0.9 pitching wins above replacement. In 12 innings, Eflin has a 2-0 record, 0.75 ERA, 14 strikeouts, one walk, 0.833 WHIP, and 2.09 fielding-independent pitching. If he weren’t just missing the cutoff to qualify for the leaderboards, Eflin would be among the league leaders in ERA, strikeout-to-walk ratio, fielding-independent pitching, and WHIP.
Eflin will get the chance to continue his success against the Marlins. They have just three hitters with an OPS over .700. As a team, they rank 25th in OPS, 29th in runs per game, and tied for 22nd in home runs. They shouldn’t put up too much resistance against Eflin.
With so much turmoil currently in the rotation, the Phillies need a stabilizing presence. Eflin has provided that so far this season and hopefully will continue to Saturday night.