Say what you want about the Miami Marlins up to this point, but they are still in contention.
Currently sitting at 31-40 overall, the Miami Marlins are 5th in the NL East. While Miami is eight games behind the first place New York Mets in the division, they are also 10 games back in the Wild Card race causing potential postseason play in 2021 to come into question.
Despite currently sporting the fourth-worst record in the NL, the Marlins are still technically in contention. Yes, being nine games below .500 in late-June isn’t ideal, but there is still plenty of baseball to be played with a very important stretch of games coming up.
Plain and simple, the Marlins must go on a stretch of winning games between now and the All-Star Break.
The next two weeks could make or break the Miami Marlins 2021 season.
It is no secret that with a 31-40 record, the Marlins must win games going forward. While it may sound like a simple thing to do, it will not be that simple solely based on the opponents that Miami will face between now and the All-Star Break.
The Marlins tonight will open up a six-game home stand with two games against the Blue Jays (35-35), and then four against the Nationals (33-36). Even if Miami can manage to go over .500 during this home stand, the Marlins then travel to play three against the Phillies (34-35), and then three against the Braves (34-37).
The Marlins will also close the first half of the 2021 MLB season with seven consecutive games at home. As you’ve probably guessed by now, it will not be easy as Miami will play four games against the defending World Series Champion Dodgers (44-28), as well as three more against the Braves.
To stress the importance of this stretch of games enough, the combined record of the opponents that the Marlins will face over the next two-to-three weeks is 180-171 which includes three series against division opponents. Each of these teams could be considered currently as playoff contenders, with the arguably worst opponent being the Nationals and Braves who are tied for third in the NL East, three games ahead of Miami in the standings.
Looking ahead to begin the second half of the season post All-Star Break, series’ against the Phillies, Nationals, and Padres leading up to the MLB Trade Deadline will all begin to loom-large as well.
Speaking of the Deadline, that is another reason this may “make or break” the 2021 Marlins season. This stretch will almost 100% guarantee whether Miami will be in or out of contention for the postseason. So, will they buy or sell at the Deadline? While we might not have those answers quite yet, they will all be revealed most likely over the next two-to-three weeks during this stretch of games.
You cannot stress the importance of these games over the next two-to-three weeks enough. While it will not be easy facing the quality of opponents on the schedule, it is certainly do-able for a Miami Marlins team with one of the best pitching staffs in baseball up to this point, along with a lineup that can be very good at times.
So, back to the term “make-or-break.” If the Marlins can go on a winning streak, it may “make” their season as they catapult back into postseason contention. If not, it may “break” the 2021 campaign, which will most likely result in selling at the Deadline to combine with an already injury-rattled season.