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Tank Race Tuesday: Orioles take over top spot

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The Marlins drop to second after six-game win streak.

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The Marlins still yearn for more cheap, controllable, high-upside talent to elevate their farm system to an elite level and lay the foundation for sustainable success. Stinking against major league competition this season is a critical step in that process. We don’t need to call it “tanking,” but let’s just say—behind closed doors—Miami’s front office will tolerate plenty of 2019 losses if it means selecting near the top of the 2020 MLB Draft and maximizing their 2020-21 international bonus pool. Fish Stripes will be monitoring this “race” for you (and creating new merch inspired by it).

FanGraphs ran performance projections for every team prior to Opening Day, but also continues to provide rest-of-season projections as the real games get played. See below for details regarding the six worst teams, including the Marlins, Orioles, Royals, Tigers, ,Blue Jays and Giants.

Orioles

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 17-37, minus-106

2019 projected record and run differential: 58-104, minus-244

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/29 vs. Tigers, 5/31-6/2 vs. Giants. 6/4-6/6 at Rangers, 6/7-6-9 at Astros

The Orioles lost five of seven and took the no. 1 spot in the tank race. They are now projected to have the worst record in baseball at season’s end by five games.

Marlins

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 17-34, minus-91

2019 projected record and run differential: 63-99, minus-182

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/30 vs. Giants, 5/31-6/2 at Padres, 6/4-6/6 at Brewers, 6/7-6/9 vs. Braves

The Marlins doubled their three-game winning streak since last publication before losing three of four to the Nats (who are no longer on this list, as I predicted last week). The Fish picked up two wins on their end-of-year projection and are no longer slated to be a 100-loss team.

Royals

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 18-34, minus-41

2019 projected record and run differential: 66-96, minus-110

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/29 at White Sox, 5/30-6/2 at Rangers, 6/4-6/6 vs. Red Sox, 6/7-6/9 vs. White Sox

The Royals went 2-3 since last publication and remain in third, just a half game back of the Marlins. Neither of their year-end projections changed.

Tigers

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 19-32, minus-101

2019 projected record and run differential: 64-98, minus-203

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/29 at Orioles, 5/31-6/2 at Braves, 6/4-6/6 vs. Rays, 6/7-6/9 vs. Twins

The Tigers have won just once since May 12 and now are projected for the third-worst record in baseball. They join the Orioles as the only two teams projected for a -200 run differential.

Blue Jays

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 21-33, minus-49

2019 projected record and run differential: 70-92, minus-102

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/29 at Rays, 5/31-6/2 at Rockies, 6/4-6/6 vs. Yankees, 6/7-6/9 vs. Arizona

The Jays lost two games off their win total along with 24 runs after a 2-5 week.

Giants

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 21-31, minus-78

2019 projected record and run differential: 71-91, minus-123

Upcoming schedule: 5/28-5/30 at Marlins, 5/31-6/2 at Orioles, 6/4-6/6 at Mets, 6/7-6/9 vs. Dodgers

The Giants join the list again after a 1-5 week. There is a good chance they won’t be here next week after two series against baseball’s worst teams.