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Tank Race Tuesday: Orioles and Royals neck and neck

The Marlins stand pat in fourth. The rest of the top-5 remains the same.

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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 five worst teams, including the Marlins, Orioles, Royals, Tigers, and Blue Jays.

Orioles

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 20-45, minus-124

2019 projected record and run differential: 57-105, minus-242

Upcoming schedule: 6/11-6/13 vs. Blue Jays, 6/14-6/16 vs. Red Sox, 6/17-6/19 at A’s, 6/20-6/23 at Mariners

It was an interesting week in MLB’s basement, as every team on this list won at least twice, except the new co-leader below. For their part, the O’s picked up 11 runs on their end-of-year projections, but their predicted record remained the same.

Royals

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 20-45, minus-17

2019 projected record and run differential: 62-100, minus-134

Upcoming schedule: 6/11-6/13 vs. Tigers, 6/14-6/16 at Twins, 6/17-6/19 at Mariners, 6/20-6/23 vs. Twins

The Royals were the lone team among the bottom five to win only one game over the past week to go with five losses. They lost two games and 17 runs off of their end-of-year numbers.

Blue Jays

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 23-42, minus-82

2019 projected record and run differential: 66-96, minus-133

Upcoming schedule: 6/11-6/13 at Orioles, 6/14-6/16 at Astros, 6/17-6/20 vs. Angels, 6/21-6/23 at Red Sox

The Jays were outscored by 17 over their last week and lost one game off their end-of-season projections, along with 31 runs.

Marlins

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 23-41, minus-68

2019 projected record and run differential: 64-98, minus-164

Upcoming schedule: 6/11-6/12 vs. Cardinals, 6/14-6/16 vs. Pirates, 6/17-6/20 at Cardinals, 6/21-6/23 at Phillies

Despite starting the last calendar week with a couple of wins over the Brewers, the Marlins lost five straight and were a half game worse everyone else on this list (save the Royals). While they actually outscored their opponents by nine and gained the same amount in their year-end numbers, the team lost a win off their final total. Thanks to the Kansas City winning just once, the Fish are now alone in third in the final projected standings.

Tigers

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 22-34, minus-98

2019 projected record and run differential: 65-97, minus-201

Upcoming schedule: 6/11-6/13 at Royals, 6/14-6/16 vs. Indians, 6/18-6/19 at Pirates, 6/21-6/23 at Indians

The Tigers kept their same projected record but joined exclusive company as the O’s are the only other team likely to be outscored by 200 or more runs. (The Marlins are third but almost 50 runs better.)