Miami Marlins control their own playoff destiny

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 22: Marcell Ozuna /

The Miami Marlins finally managed to pull to the even mark. If they have any plans of October baseball, they control their own destiny.

Taking a look down the remaining 38-games on the Miami Marlins schedule should elicit some excitement. You’ll notice a lot of sub-.500 teams and a few marquee head-to-head matchups. It’s almost like they got to choose their opponents the rest of the way.

The Miami Marlins sit at 62-62 on the year. A number that is more impressive with contextual knowledge of the climb the team had to undertake to get there. It’s an impressive .500, to be sure. Don’t expect them to be done yet, though.

The Miami Marlins control their own destiny the rest of the way. Win (enough), and they’re in.

In August, Miami plays six of their nine games against teams that are below the even mark. If they can finish off the Phillies on Wednesday and Thursday, and take two-of-three from the Padres, they’re in good shape.

They’ve played well against the Nationals this season, 6-7 in their 13 meetings. If they can win the series it’ll be huge, but avoiding a sweep is critical. They close out the month with a game against the Phillies, another must win.

Something in the neighborhood of 7-2, or 6-3 to close out the month of August would do wonders for the Miami Marlins heading into September. That’s where their fate will ultimately be determined. They’ll need to be within the 68-70 win range to make things interesting.

The 29 games of September

In the month of September, the Miami Marlins will get head-to-head matchups against the very teams they are chasing in the wildcard. Those are must-wins, to say the least.

Here’s what September looks like for the Marlins:

A four game series against the Phillies.

The Nationals for three games.

Braves for four games.

Phillies for three.

Brewers for three.

Mets for three.

DBacks for three games.

Rockies for three games.

They close the season with a four game series against the Braves.

Miami’s final road trip of the season is a tour of the leaders of the National League wildcard. If you’re a Miami fan hoping for October baseball, you couldn’t draw it up any better.

How to get to the postseason

The drought is well-documented. The Marlins franchise has been to the playoffs twice, winning the World Series each time. Since 2003, they’ve had varied success but never managed to get back to the postseason.

Wins against lesser opponents are what will get the Fish to the playoffs again this year. They’ll need to take advantage of every Phillies game they have left on the schedule. Going back to August, they have 10-games against the Phillies on their schedule. They need 10-wins.

It’s a tall order, but that’s the position the month of May has put the Marlins in.

Managing a series win against the Nationals would go a long way, but again, they must avoid being swept. The trap games on the schedule belong to the Atlanta Braves. A pair of four-game sets against the Bravos could sink the Marlins season if they can’t manage to break the spell.

The Braves have had the Miami Marlins number all season. Those are wins the Marlins will desperately need before hitting the road for their wildcard leaders tour.

Consider the series against the Brewers a primer of importance. The Fish aren’t ultimately chasing them, but they’re in the way of what Miami wants. They need at least two-of-three from a home series against Milwaukee.

One road trip to rule them all

The most important thing going into the final road trip for the Marlins is breathing room. They need to take care of business leading up to the trip to take some of the pressure off. If they hit the road needing six wins, they’re in bad shape.

No doubt they’ll be vying for a series victory against Arizona and Colorado, but they can’t afford to put themselves in a position where one loss ends their season.

If the Fish can manage to go 13-6 heading into their final road trip, they’ll be in good shape. A winning percentage of 63-percent should get them enough wins to snatch a wildcard berth, 13-6 would be good enough for 68-percent.

That record includes sweeps over the Phillies, and series victories over the Brewers and Mets. A split with the Braves and a series defeat to the Nationals peppered in for realistic measure.

The Fish will need to take two-of-three against both the Diamondbacks and the Rockies. If they can manage to do that, they should return back to Miami in the drivers seat.

I predict that a 24-14 finish will get the Miami Marlins into the playoffs. They need at least four of those wins on their final road trip of the season, though. Losses in head-to-head matchups will all but void all the work that is done elsewhere.

Next: Pinch yourself, Miami Marlins are .500 team

The Miami Marlins control their own destiny the rest of the way. If they can stay hot, keep winning ballgames, and put themselves in striking distance heading into their final road trip, the playoffs are a reality. Who’d of thought that was the case only a month ago?