The NL WC Race: Where do the Miami Marlins stand?
For all intents and purposes, there are really two MLB seasons: pre All-Star break and the second half grind. The Miami Marlins have underperformed in the first half and now look to make their stake at keeping their post-season hopes alive in the next few weeks.
For the Marlins, it’s about going on a hot streak immediately or get ready for Spring Training 2023.
If the season ended today, the New York Mets at 58-35 would take the NL East while the Milwaukee Brewers would claim the NL Central and the Los Angeles Dodgers would easily scoop up the NL West divisional crown. The expansion of the MLB wild card system now means that there will be three teams making it in to the postseason along with the divisional winners. If the Marlins want to join the post-season, now is the time to go on a prolonged winning streak. Otherwise, this season is all but done and the Marlins, along with the other sub-par NL performers are playing for pride and paychecks.
The current lock on the lead wild card spot right now goes to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves didn’t start out hot but look to be one of the best teams in the big leagues right now and given that they’re coming off a World Series win last year, they are sitting in the wild card driver’s seat at this moment. With a 56-38 overall record, the Braves are only 2.5 games behind the Mets and could actually overtake them at any time and move into the lead in the NL East. At any rate, the Braves will no doubt stay in the equation for some sort of playoff spot come October.
The San Diego Padres are a surprise team this season and in the competitive NL West they’re making their presence known. Although nine games behind the NL West leading Dodgers, the Padres are sitting at 52-42 and are poised to making the post-season as long as they don’t have a collapse in August and September. They are too far behind the Dodgers to threaten to take the NL West outright but the Padres seem to be a wild card lock right now.
2022 has already been a season of surprises and the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the biggest success stories so far. The early months of the season looked to be a disaster in South Philly as skipper Joe Girardi looked like he was taking the fight out of the Fighting Phils. Exit Girardi and enter bench coach Rob Thomson and guess what? The Phillies aren’t that bad. In fact, they have a 49-43 record and are currently sitting on the third NL wild card spot. Of course, Phillies fans have had generations of time to become accustomed to disappointment and heartbreak and we’ll se where the Phils are sitting come Labor Day.
The sentimental favorite St. Louis Cardinals are just a half game back in the NL Central race behind the Milwaukee Brewers but are actually worse off in the wild card race. The second half grind will tell if the senior citizen crew of Wainwright, Molina and Pujols make it to the playoffs one more time. Ditto for the San Francisco Giants under skipper Gabe Kapler. The Giants have a winning record but sitting 13 games behind the Dodgers, even a wild card spot is a stretch for them.
Well, what does this all mean for the Marlins right now? It means that they have their work cut out for them and then some. Losing games to the Texas Rangers after the break doesn’t help the cause and sitting at 43-49 means that the Marlins right now are kids staring into a toy store window but the store’s front door is locked. At this point the Marlins batting order needs to get into contact with Pedro Cerrano and have him “wake up bats” or the 2022 campaign is about to become a snooze fest. Remember, NFL training camp starts next week and the Marlins risk having fans lose interest quickly and turn their attention to the upcoming football season.