In the first game of this abbreviated season, Aaron Nola will oppose Sandy Alcantara. Last season, Alcantara was the Marlins’ All-Star pick. In 3 starts against the Phillies, he had a 3.86 ERA with a 1.821 WHIP. He averaged over 10 baserunners allowed per start against the Phillies.
Aaron Nola flashed great stuff against the Marlins last season, posting a 2.08 ERA with a WHIP under 1. He was, however, a bit unlucky as he went 0-2 in those 3 starts. How game 1 will end will have to be up to the Phillies lineup.
For game 2, We’ll see Zack Wheeler in his Phillies debut opposite of Caleb Smith. Smith fared well against the Phillies in 2019, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 3 games. The lefty struck out 15 Phillies in 15 innings.
Zack Wheeler will be looking to repeat his performance against the Marlins from 2019. His ERA against the fish was 1.96 in 3 games. In those starts, he averaged 7.1 IP with 8 2/3 strikeouts a game.
The finale will feature Vince Velasquez against José Ureña. José Ureña had a high-quality year against the Phillies in 2019, posting a 1.80 ERA against them. In 15 IP, he struck out 13 and only allowed 3 solo homers.
Vinny Velo will be headed into game 3 looking for redemption. Last season, the Marlins absolutely destroyed anything he threw. In 21.2 IP, he had a 7.06 ERA. In his worst start, Velasquez went only 2.1 IP while giving up 7 ER. After developing a cutter, we’ll have to watch and see if Vinny Velo is ready.
5 Players to Watch
Bryce Harper has 5 Opening Day home runs. Just something to keep in mind while you watch this series. He also has a .947 career OPS against the fish with 28 homers.
Andrew “Uncle Larry” McCutchen is back and ready to place. Last Opening Day, he led off with his first Phillies home run. He hasn’t played a game for 417 days. He’s licking his chops to get back on the field.
Zack Wheeler will have many eyes on him. The Phillies signed him to a 5-year $118 million contract. Facing the Marlins will be his first step in proving he was worth it. Plus he throws 99 MPH, who doesn’t want to see that!
Brian Anderson is possibly the most underrated player in the NL East. In his first 2 full seasons, he’s had a WAR over 3. In 2019, he posted a .811 OPS. Now that he has some weapons around him, he could improve on that number.
Former Phillies’ farmhand Jonathan Villar is coming off of his best season in the majors. With the Orioles in 2019, he clubbed 24 home runs, stole 40 bags, and hit .276. As a 19-year-old he was included in the package that brought Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.
Oh, Hi Corey
The Phillies will face not-so-old friend Corey Dickerson. He signed a 2-year $17.5 million deal with the Marlins this offseason.
In 2019, he was fantastic as a Phillie. He slashed .293/.307/.579 with the Phillies. In 34 games, he hit 20 extra-base hits. He does hold a career .839 OPS against the Phillies as well. No home runs, thank goodness.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.