The Miami Marlins snapped the Atlanta Braves‘ winning streak Saturday, but dropped the first and last games of the series. Now the Marlins are hitting the road to play at Kauffman Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals await them. The Royals are bidding for a division title and a wildcard spot, sitting only 7.5 games out of first and 4.5 games out of the second wildcard.
This is the Marlins’ chance to play the spoiler as the Royals are one of four teams left on their August schedule that are in contention for the playoffs. The series starts with Miami sending right-handed pitcher Tom Koehler to the mound to face Royals righty Wade Davis. Koehler has a 4.50 ERA and 19 strikeouts in his last three stars, but has only one win. It will be his first career start against Kansas City as well.
Jose Fernandez will pitch on Tuesday against Bruce Chen, and Jacob Turner will wrap up the series against Ervin Santana.
What is not helping Miami is its 3-7 record in the last 10 games and its 18-40 record on the road. Miami has not been great away from Marlins Park, and has dropped its last six of eight on the road as well. Kansas City has been good at home. The Royals boast a 32-26 record are 7-3 in their last 10 games. Kansas City needs all the help they can get, and with an underachieving Marlins team coming to town, a series sweep is within their sights.
However, the Marlins can play the role of the spoiler here. Everyone is counting them out, but putting some teams down en route to the end of the season is something to hang their hats on.
Outfielder Christian Yelich has to be even more on his game in this series, as with the others in the Marlins’ lineup. Yelich is batting .282/.325/.385 with three doubles and four RBI in his first 19 games. His quick rise to the majors is something that brightens the Marlins’ hopes and could lead to good things for the rest of the season. It starts by spoiling the Royals’ hopes of a playoff run.