Washington Nationals: 5 story lines for Marlins tilt

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 01: Max Scherzer
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 01: Max Scherzer /
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Although the starting pitching is nothing to write home about, the Miami Marlins offense is incredible.

Dee Gordon has 40 stolen bases. Giancarlo Stanton is swatting balls into orbit with 36 homers. Marcell Ozuna carries a slash line of .307/.365/.549 heading into Sunday with24 homers. Christian Yelich matches Stanton and Ozuna with 24 doubles.

No matter who is on the hill, these Fish bite. Although not as potent as the Nats offense, the Marlins are third in the NL in hits with 989 and in batting average at .266 before their win Sunday in Atlanta. If their pitching was any good, Miami would be a strong threat. With a team ERA of 4.63, they are 52-57.

If Washington is to end what little playoff hopes the Marlins have, they must contain the offense the best Washington can. As strong as Stanton and Ozuna are, Miami is a singles machine that struggles to get extra-base hits.

Although 183 doubles sound awesome, the Marlins are 12th in the NL. Miami is 11th in triples with 17 and ninth with 131 home runs. They have played Washington well, but the Nats have games where they score at will.

A series of singles and a lack of extra-base hits is what you want to see. Miami is dead last drawing walks. Hard to score runs when you cannot string together good innings.