Though the Marlins beat the Mets, 6-5, in walk-off fashion on Friday night, the Mets have won five of their past six and are playing their best baseball of the young season. And with Nolasco's poor track record against them -- 5-7 with a 5.03 ERA in 22 appearances, 20 of them starts -- the odds don't exactly stack in his favor.
The 29-year-old will look to carry the momentum of a 4-0 start with a 2.72 ERA into this outing. He started the 2011 campaign with a 4-0 record before dropping four straight and finishing the season 10-12, but he obviously hopes for more sustained success. He allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings against the Padres in Sunday's record-tying start.
"I'm just grateful for the opportunity the team has given me, being here this long," Nolasco said after that game. "It means a lot knowing I'm here helping this organization and this team win as many games as possible. Hopefully, we can get this next one."
To do that the Marlins' offense will have to show up for him. Despite a lineup loaded with potential, only Omar Infante (.313) is hitting above .280.
"I think we are better, offensively, than what we've shown so far," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "You talk about consistent, Infante, that's it."
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, 4-1 with a 3.76 ERA this season, takes the ball for the Mets. Unlike Nolasco, Dickey has excelled against his opponent in his career. He is 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 10 games -- eight starts -- against Miami and hasn't lost to the club in his last five outings.
Dickey held the Marlins to one run in seven innings of work on April 25.
"R.A. was outstanding," manager Terry Collins said after that performance. "That might be the best knuckleball I've seen him have in a long time."
Marlins: Infante crushes the knuckleball
Infante is 12-for-25 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs off Dickey in his career.
Jose Reyes has faced his former teammate nine times in his career, but has never recorded a hit off him.
The Marlins are 1-3 against the Mets this season. They were swept in New York in a three-game series from April 24-26.
Mets: Playing the Wright way
David Wright is 22-for-57 with six doubles, four home runs and 13 RBIs off Nolasco in his career.
The Mets' five-game winning streak ended on Friday night. It was their longest streak since they won five straight from July 25-29, 2011.
Ronny Cedeno came off the disabled list and returned to the Mets' lineup on Friday night. He went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks.
The Mets lead the all-time series with a 157-148 record. Friday night marked the first time the two squared off in Marlins Park.