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Tank Race Tuesday: Tigers take tanking top spot

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The Marlins dropped back to fifth but are still projected to finish fourth.

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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.

Tigers

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 31-71, minus-208

2019 projected record and run differential: 55-107, minus-260

Upcoming schedule: 7/30-7/31 at Angels 8/2-8/4 at Rangers, 8/5-8/7 vs. White Sox (includes double header on 8/6), 8/8-8/11 vs. Royals

Congratulations, Detroit! Your Tigers won just one of their seven games this past week and took the lead in the tank race. They lost an astounding four games off their year-end projections as well and are currently slated to win the race by a game.

Orioles

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 35-71, minus-184

2019 projected record and run differential: 56-106, minus-255

Upcoming schedule: 7/30 at Padres, 8/1-8/4 vs. Blue Jays, 8/5-8/7 vs. Yankees, 8/9-8/11 vs. Astros

The Orioles followed a .500 week with a winning one, going 4-3 to add another win to their projected record and dropping them to second place. You’re going to have to do worse than that if you want the glory, boys!

Royals

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 40-68, minus-88

2019 projected record and run differential: 63-99, minus-128

Upcoming schedule: 7/30-7/31 vs. Blue Jays, 8/2-8/4 at Twins, 8/5-8/7 at Red Sox, 8/8-8/11 at Tigers

The Royals won three of seven but lost a game off their projections as a result. They’re currently six games behind the Tigers.

Blue Jays

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 41-67, minus-84

2019 projected record and run differential: 65-97, minus-112

Upcoming schedule: 7/30-7/31 at Royals, 8/1-8/4 at Baltimore, 8/5-8/7 at Rays, 8/8-8/11 at Yankees

The Jays had a .500 week but couldn’t keep behind the Marlins. The two teams each have 41 wins but Toronto has four more losses. The year-end record did not change north of the border, however.

Marlins

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 41-63, minus-97

2019 projected record and run differential: 64-98, minus-150

Upcoming schedule: 7/30-8/1 vs. Twins, 8/3-8/4 at Rays, 8/5-8/7 at Mets (double header on 8/5), 8/8-8/11 vs. Braves

The scorching-hot Fish went 5-1 and picked up two wins on their projection, WHICH MEANS THEY’RE NO LONGER PROJECTED FOR 100 LOSSES! Sorry, I got excited. They’re still projected to finish a game ahead of the Jays for fourth though.