The Miami Marlins should be above .500, not 18 games below

Entering the road series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, the Pythagorean had the Miami Marlins at 55-54 and competing for their first ever National League East division title. 

Instead, Miami was in last place of the division with a 47-62 record. The Pythagorean system predicts a team’s expected record based on the number of runs scored and allowed. Prior to losing 18-1 to the Washington Nationals a month ago, the Marlins had the highest run differential in the division throughout much of the season. 

The Pythagorean has likely flipped since being swept by the Rockies in embarrassing fashion. Seeing Sandy Alcantara get tagged for 10 runs on Friday certainly didn’t look good. The most recent prized pitching prospect, Jesus Luzardo, gave up seven runs in less than five innings the next game and what’s left of the bullpen gave up 13 runs in the series finale. 

The main reason why the Pythagorean did not match reality was the amount of close games that did not go Miami’s way. Of their 65 defeats this season, 39 were by two runs or fewer. The Marlins have played 33 one-run games and won only 11. That’s tied with with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team with the league’s worst record, for most defeats of such nature in baseball. 

This feels like a total waste of a promising season especially at a time where the NL East felt the most vulnerable. The division leading Philadelphia Phillies rose to the top on an eight game winning streak but is barely above .500 on the season. The New York Mets long had a flimsy lead and it only took a four-game losing streak to drop all the way to third place. Despite being 18 games below .500, the Marlins are closer to the top (12 GB) than any other last place team in baseball. 

The Marlins were supposed to build off their first playoff appearance and instead wasted a promising season. Not having Sixto Sanchez at all didn’t help but the pitching staff had a top 5 ERA in the NL prior to being victims of Coors Field.

The Marlins made shrewd moves when they added veteran bats like Jesus Aguilar, Starlin Marte and Adam Duvall but they seemed like the sole source of offense for Miami this season. 

Aguilar has been the Marlins best hitter since his acquisition and along with Miguel Rojas, the most consistent and relied on hitter on the team. He currently leads the NL in RBI (79) and along with Rojas — who is the leader of the team years after being a throw-in of a 2014 blockbuster trade that brought over Dee Gordon — are top priorities during the upcoming offseason. 

Duvall was brought to Miami on a reasonable salary to hit 30 home runs and he was living up to his end on the deal prior to being traded back to Atlanta for catching prospect Alex Jackson. The Marlins front office has proven to bring in competent veteran bats to bolster their refreshed pipeline and will be counted on to do it again this offseason. 

About: Tony Capobianco


Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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