The Miami Marlins are going into their 27th Opening Day at 4:10 P.M. EST on Thursday against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park.
Through their first 26 major league seasons, the Miami Marlins have collected 11 Opening Day wins against 15 losses. After splitting their first 22 season with an 11-11 record, they have dropped their last four contests. The Marlins have never opened against the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies, with an estimated payroll of $140,107,500, rank 12th in the majors, while the Marlins register less than half of that with a $69,583,642 bill due. Remember, that’s counting the $20 million due Wei-Yin Chen, the $11,857,143 due Starlin Castro, and the $15 million they’re paying Martín Prado. So with $46,847,143 due those three players, that leaves $22,736,500 amongst the other 22 members of the Opening Day roster, or an average price tag of $1,033,477.27 per guy.
By contrast, the Rockies high-dollar guys are actually expected to produce on a more-or-less major league level. Nolan Arenado is slated to make $26 million, Charlie Blackmon $21 million, Wade Davis $18 million, Ian Desmond $15 million, and Daniel Murphy $10 million. They also are paying an additional 10 players more than the Marlins non-Prado/Chen/Castro average outlined above. Maybe most jarring about that is that the Rockies “twin aces” of Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are still pulling in the league minimum.
Miami Marlins / Colorado Rockies History
Historically, the Miami Marlins have done relatively great things against the Colorado Rockies. With a 109-95 career record against their expansion cousins, their .534 winning percentage is the highest against any National League opponent. The Marlins have actually done better against the Baltimore Orioles (22-8, .733) and the Toronto Blue Jays (19-11, .633).
Meanwhile, the Rockies, who have won .466 against the Marlins, have fared worse than that against nine other teams, including six N.L. franchises. Their least favorite opponent in the senior circuit has the be the Atlanta Braves, against whom they’ve gone 85-121, or .413.
Last season, when these two got together, the Marlins won four-of-six times. The last time they played, on June 24th in front of 34,172 at Coors Field, Miami never trailed in an 8-5 victory. Derek Dietrich, leading off and playing in left field, was four-for-five with a double, a homer, and two RBI. This was also the ill-fated final 2018 contest that Caleb Smith played. Smith started and lasted 1 1/3 innings before leaving with a grade three lat strain in his throwing arm. Don Mattingly at the time said:
"It’s not going to be overnight, 10 days or anything like that. That’s a tough one for our guy to swallow. A guy that’s been showing so much promise for us this year. For that to happen, I’m sure he’s pretty down. – Mattingly, as quoted at the time by Matthew DeFranks, Sun-Sentinel."
The contest was also notable in that Tayron Guerrero, Adam Conley, Brad Ziegler, and Kyle Barraclough pitched the final five innings without allowing a baserunner and striking out seven. Drew Rucinski, however, was awarded his second victory of the season.
Unfortunately, Smith won’t be able to come full circle in the four-game series this time after missing nine months. He’s slated to start the opener of the New York Mets series on Monday as the Marlins number five starter.
A National Holiday
It’s been kicked around my circles, and maybe some of yours too. The prospect of making MLB Opening Day a national holiday. It’s already celebrated more than any other “special” day, excepting Christmas, Thanksgiving, and maybe Easter. Are any of you getting the day off? I’m not, so I’ll just watch it on my iPhone when I’m not busy doing anything else.
The Super Bowl is already treated as the next-best thing to a National Holiday. Of course, it’s already on a Sunday, but it’s become a tradition (in the US Army at least) to eliminate the Monday-morning after physical training. We’re not going to get the day off, but if you’ve ever served, you already know how significant getting PT off is.
Ok, I get it. None of these games start before noon, so maybe we should settle for a half-day holiday. I’ll take it.
Tomorrow’s MLB Schedule
For those of you lucky enough to be off tomorrow, there’s a full slate on tap, aside from simply the Miami Marlins opener.
1:05 P.M. EST
New York Mets @ Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees
2:10 P.M. EST
St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers
3:05 P.M. EST
Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies
3:37 P.M. EST
Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays
4:00 P.M. EST
Houston Astros @ Tampa Bay Rays
4:05 P.M. EST
Chicago Cubs @ Texas Rangers
4:07 P.M. EST
Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland Athletics
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4:10 P.M. EST
Colorado Rockies @ Miami Marlins
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins
San Francisco Giants @ San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds
4:15 P.M. EST
Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
7:10 P.M. EST
Boston Red Sox @ Seattle Mariners
Pick your poison, and enjoy Opening Day. Follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook to keep up with the Miami Marlins.