John Maine (7-6, 4.43) v. Ricky Nolasco (13-9, 5.06)

TV: SNY. Radio: WFAN 660. 

MAINE MAN: Maine was 2-1 in four starts against Florida last year. He’s an overwhelmingly fastball-heavy pitcher, throwing it 72 percent of the time last year at around 91.3 mph. He throws his slider and change about equal (and interestingly, both pitches sit at around 84 mph). After last season’s health issues, Maine needs to prove he can stay on the mound. He’s certainly got the talent: his fastball was five runs above average last year and his slider and change also graded out positively.

SCOUTING NOLASCO: 1-1 in four starts against the Mets last year. He mixes a fastball, slider and curve well and effectively changes speeds. Don’t let last season’s ERA fool you. He was hurt by a high batting average on balls in play. Plus he struck out 9.49 batters per nine innings and had a fantastic 4.43 K/BB ratio.

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STORYLINES:

  • Can Maine keep Santana’s momentum going?
  • Can the new guys keep making a positive impact?
  • Who pitches the eighth?