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Tank Race Tuesday: Fish fall further into fifth

With just four games on the slate for most teams, the past week saw no changes in MLB’s bottom five.

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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): 28-65, minus-187

2019 projected record and run differential: 54-108, minus-254

Upcoming schedule: 7/16-7/17 vs. Nationals, 7/19-7/21 vs. Boston, 7/22-7/24 at Diamondbacks, 7/25-7/28 at Angels

The Orioles dropped three of four after the break. It is difficult to lose more than that. The result was another win lost from end-of-year projections.

Tigers

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 29-60, minus-163

2019 projected record and run differential: 59-103, minus-227

Upcoming schedule: 7/15-7/18 at Indians, 7/19-7/21 vs. Blue Jays, 7/23-7/24 vs. Phillies, 7/25-7/28 at Mariners

Case in point: the Tigers also lost three of four. Oddly, Detroit’s end-of-year projections remained virtually the same, losing only one in run differential.

Royals

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 33-62, minus-85

2019 projected record and run differential: 62-100, minus-133

Upcoming schedule: 7/15-7/18 vs. White Sox, 7/19-7/21 at Indians, 7/23-7/24 at Braves, 7/25-7/28 vs. Indians

Largely because they played the Tigers, the Royals won three of four in the abbreviated week. That meant two wins to their final projected total.

Blue Jays

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 35-60, minus-91

2019 projected record and run differential: 66-96, minus-122

Upcoming schedule: 7/16-7/18 at Red Sox, 7/18-7/21 at Tigers, 7/22-7/24 vs. Indians, 7/26-7/28 vs. Rays

The Jays preferred to keep pace with the leaders, dropping 75 percent of their games. They have several contenders on their immediate schedule.

Marlins

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 34-57, minus-89

2019 projected record and run differential: 63-99, minus-150

Upcoming schedule: 7/16-7/18 vs. Padres, 7/19-7/21 at Dodgers, 7/22-7/24 at White Sox, 7/26-7/29 vs. Diamondbacks

The Marlins only lost two of three, so they slightly improved against the pack. Their end-of-year numbers remain completely unchanged from last week.