The Miami Marlins head into the season’s final month fighting to avoid 100 losses.
At 47-84, the Miami Marlins have only three things to play for in closing out their 2019 campaign. Major league experience, spoiler, and the avoidance of 100 losses.
The other four members of the National League East are all at .500 or better. The Atlanta Braves, who earned 15 wins in 19 games against the Miami Marlins, sit in the driver’s seat at 80-54. Five-and-a-half games behind them, and three games up in the N.L. Wildcard race sit the Washington Nationals, at 73-58. The Philadelphia Phillies (68-63) and New York Mets (67-64) bring up the rear.
Incidentally, the Marlins have taken four-of-15 from New York and three-of-13 from the Nationals. Only the Phillies have struggled with Miami. The Marlins have won nine-of-15 games in that series. There are still six games remaining against the Nats and four each against Philadelphia and the Mets. The Atlanta season series has come to a close.
So in total, the Miami Marlins are 20-45 inside the N.L. East, versus a 27-39 clip without. Playing in such a loaded division has no doubt hurt the already “playing for a draft spot” club.
Although “spoiler” is a sad little consolation prize, they may have already turned the trick against the Phils. If Philadelphia had handled the Marlins the way the other three teams have, they would be sitting just behind the Braves in the standings.
With 31 games remaining on the schedule, the Miami Marlins must win at least 16 of them to turn the trick. Firstly, they’ll play two more games at home against the Cincinnati Reds, followed by a six-game road trip with three each versus the Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following that, they have the Kansas City Royals for three at home, the Milwaukee Brewers for four at Marlins Park, the San Francisco Giants for three at 3Com Park, the Arizona Diamondbacks for three at Chase Field, three at home versus the Nationals, then a seven game road trip to end the season, with four versus the Mets and three against Philadelphia.
Although the Miami Marlins haven’t had a .500 record in 10 consecutive seasons now, and have only posted winning records in six-of-27 seasons, they’ve only endured 100 or more losses on two occasions, the 2013 Miami Marlins were 62-100, and the 1998 Florida Marlins landed with a thud with a franchise worst 54-108, just one season removed from their first World Series Championship.
The Royals and Pirates are notably weak, and the Marlins stand the best chance of winning those series. The Phillies, although not weak, seem to have trouble against the good guys. Sixteen wins in 31 games seems like a tall order for the struggling club, which brings us to their third and probably most important reason to keep playing.
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The Miami Marlins are just loaded with possible future major league stalwarts. Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez, Jon Berti, Austin Dean, and Isan Diaz are already here, with Magneuris Sierra and others waiting for possible September call-ups. Some of the possibilities before the end of this season include outfielder Jesus Sanchez, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, outfielder Monte Harrison, and first baseman Lewin Diaz.
On the other side of the equation is the Miami Marlins rotation. Besieged by injuries, there’s more chance than ever for more of the guys at double- and triple-A to make their major league debuts. Robert Dugger is coming back for another turn after Jordan Yamamoto makes a trip to the injured list. There’s also a not-zero-chance for top prospect Sixto Sanchez to join the team before the close of the campaign.
In short, there’s more reason than ever to get excited about the future of Miami Marlins baseball. Tune in for the first pitch at 7:10PM EDT.