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.
2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 27-62, minus-165
2019 projected record and run differential: 55-107, minus-254
Upcoming schedule: 7/12-7/14 vs. Rays, 7/16-7/17 vs. Nationals, 7/19-7/21 vs. Boston, 7/22-7/24 at Diamondbacks
The Orioles closed the first half with a winning week. Three straight wins with one over the Rays and two over the Jays gave them a 3-2 finish, but they still have a two-game lead over the Tigers.
2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 28-57, minus-159
2019 projected record and run differential: 59-103, minus-228
Upcoming schedule: 7/12-7/14 at Kansas City, 7/15-7/18 at Indians, 7/19-7/21 vs. Blue Jays, 7/23-7/24 vs. Phillies
The Tigers took second place back from the Royals with a 1-5 week. The men from Motown lost a win from their end-of-season projection as a result.
2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 30-61, minus-90
2019 projected record and run differential: 60-102, minus-141
Upcoming schedule: 7/12-7/14 vs. Tigers, 7/15-7/18 vs. White Sox, 7/19-7/21 at Indians, 7/23-7/24 at Braves
The Royals went 1-5 like the Tigers yet somehow lost three games off their projected win total.
2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 34-57, minus-84
2019 projected record and run differential: 66-96, minus-118
Upcoming schedule: 7/12-7/14 at Yankees, 7/15-7/18 at Red Sox, 7/18-7/21 at Tigers, 7/22-7/24 vs. Indians
The Jays went 2-4 and are just one percentage point ahead of the Marlins in the tanking standings at the break.
2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 33-55, minus-87
2019 projected record and run differential: 63-99, minus-150
Upcoming schedule: 7/12-7/14 vs. Mets, 7/16-7/18 vs. Padres, 7/19-7/21 at Dodgers, 7/22-7/24 at White Sox
The Fish also went 1-5 and were in the midst of a five-game losing stream before Caleb Smith’s return from the IL got Miami a win in the penultimate game of the half.