2020-07-07 16:00:00 EDT
The Miami Marlins have an uphill battle ahead of them in the shortened 2020 MLB season.
Miami is coming off a pretty disastrous 2019, finishing at 57-105 overall. That’s the second-worst record in the history of the franchise. The Marlins certainly have their work cut out for them as they attempt to regain relevance in the National League East. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at Miami’s current status and break down the team’s chances at hitting their projected win total in 2020.
There aren’t a lot of positives to take away from Miami’s 2019 campaign. The team finished a whopping 40 games back of the Braves in the NL East, and only won three season series: versus the Phillies (10-9), Padres (4-2) and Diamondbacks (4-3). The glory days of the Marlins franchise back in the early 2000s seem a distant memory at this point, but a solid win percentage in this truncated MLB season would go a long way toward restoring hope among the Miami faithful.
The good news is, 2020 brings a clean slate for the Marlins. The bad news is, that clean slate features a brutal schedule. The other four NL East teams should be pretty good—or at least competitive—and that makes for 40 rough outings versus Atlanta, Washington, the Mets and Philadelphia. Miami also has the bad luck of a heavy AL East schedule this season for the other 20 games. That slate includes six games versus a really dangerous Rays team, three games versus a decent Red Sox team and three road games at Yankee Stadium versus the imposing Bronx Bombers. There’s nothing easy here whatsoever.
The good news for Miami is that their projected lineup contains some promising talent, so we could see some breakout seasons (relatively speaking) in the stat columns. Jonathan Villar, Brian Anderson, Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar all have the capability to notch double-digit home runs this season, and guys like Garrett Cooper and Matt Joyce have the potential for solid hitting depth.
The Miami starting rotation could have a few issues, but there’s some talent here as well. Caleb Smith will spearhead the starters after his 4.52 ERA and 10-11 record last season. Sandy Alcantara put up a decent 3.88 ERA in 2019, and if Jose Urena can somehow recapture his 2017 magic (3.82 ERA; 14 wins), it’ll go a long way toward victories for the Marlins.
Pick: Taking the under. I hate to say it, and I am rooting for Miami to regain form, but looking at the daunting schedule 25 wins just doesn’t seem realistic. Going off win percentage from last year, the Marlins have the toughest slate of games in the entire MLB.
Sure, there’s a path to that 25-win mark, and Miami will probably open up well. The schedule is front-loaded with relatively bad teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays so there’s a chance the Marlins find a good rhythm and bang out some great wins in the final two-thirds of the season. That scenario seems a little optimistic for me, though.