Three things Miami Marlins need to do to contend this year

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 22: Giancarlo Stanton
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 22: Giancarlo Stanton /
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Despite having baseball’s best non-playoff storyline in the outfield, the Marlins continue to quietly climb into the NL Wild Card race.

With Giancarlo Stanton hitting home runs at the rate he is, it’s easy for all other things Miami Marlins to take a back seat.

But now that the club’s record sits at 64-63 for the season, one of the more epic turnarounds in the past two decades, perhaps it’s time for fans to start doing some scoreboard watching. Only the mighty Dodgers have played better than the Marlins over the past two weeks.

It’s a matchup that has “trap series” written all over it.

Despite a losing record, the Padres have been playing pretty good baseball themselves of late. The last time the Marlins won a season series against San Diego was their first year in Marlins Park. Not a gimme by any means.

On paper, the odds look good for Miami closing out the weekend with a winning record for the first time since April.

Can the club make a real run at Wild Card contention though? The schedule gives plenty of cause for optimism. If nothing else, the Marlins have six games remaining against the teams they are chasing in Arizona and Colorado.

Against those teams this season, the Marlins are a combined 6-1.

Of course, there are more questions than answers in the starting rotation. The bullpen is a bit of a roller coaster ride. So plenty of reason to hedge bets as well. But there are months of sample size now suggesting the team can make things interesting.

At worst, they might produce that elusive winning season.

How do the Miami Marlins put that in the bag though? What do they have to do to give themselves a realistic chance the rest of the way? Let’s take a look.