It’s no secret that the Marlins aren’t expected to be very good this season. Oddsshark.com has them ranked dead last to win the World Series. Vegasinsider.com has them at 250/1 to win a title, 125/1 to win the NL Pennant, and 50/1 to win the NL East. Numerous publications have the Marlins finishing in last place. There is always a lot of uncertainty surrounding the prediction of a MLB season, but one thing everybody seems certain of is that the Marlins are going to suck.
If you’d like that opinion summed up anecdotally, former Fish Stripes writer Lance Brozdowski has got you covered.
My lyft driver was a #Marlins fan. Spent the 20-minute ride convincing him there is some long-term hope. Hardest thing I've done in a long time.— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBrozdow) March 4, 2018
Personally I always veer toward unwarranted optimism in regard to my sports teams of choice, so it was nice to come across this piece from cbssports.com suggesting that the Marlins might not be as bad as everyone thinks they will be. The article cites Sportsline modeling in backing up the assertion that the average sports book prediction of 64.5 wins is a bit low for the Fish. From the article:
“We can tell you the model believes oddsmakers overreacted to the Marlins’ teardown. With a rock-bottom Over-Under of 64.5, the model strongly recommends the Over, projecting 72.3 wins.”
This particular computer model was quite successful at predicting the recent NFL and NCAA men’s basketball seasons, so there is reason to believe that it might be worth paying attention to.
The offense has unquestionably worsened, but is a lineup that contains Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, Starlin Castro, Martin Prado “bad,” per say? I don’t think so. The real shakiness of the team lies within it’s starting rotation, which has decidedly not improved from last season (though not being forced to throw Tom Koehler, Jeff Locke and Vance Worley out there due to lack of other options may help a bit). The pen should hold up fine, even if Kyle Barraclough and Brian Ellington end up walking the world.
Barring any other changes prior to the start of the season, I have them pegged at around 72-90 (five games worse than last season), and I finally found the one publication that will agree with me.
Low 70’s! It’s your 2018 Miami Marlins, folks. Get hyped!