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Tank Race Tuesday: Orioles, Marlins threaten to move up

Plus, the Jays retake fifth, Mariners drop to seventh

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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.


2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 37-85, minus-240

2019 projected record and run differential: 52-110, minus-283

Upcoming schedule: 8/20-8/22 at Astros, 8/23-8/25 at Twins, 8/27-8/29 vs. Indians, 8/30-9/2 vs. Twins

Detroit went 2-5 since last week resulting in losing a win off their year-end projections. They’re so bad they have a shot at history.


2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 39-86, minus-262

2019 projected record and run differential: 53-109, minus-306

Upcoming schedule: 8/20-8/21 vs. Royals, 8/22-8/25 vs. Rays, 8/27-8/28 at Nationals, 8/30-9/1 at Royals

The Orioles lost all six of their games since last publication and are on an eight-game losing streak. They lost three games off their final win total, the greatest single-week loss I can remember since I started doing this column.


2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 45-80, minus-112

2019 projected record and run differential: 61-101, minus-138

Upcoming schedule: 8/20-8/21 at Orioles, 8/23-8/25 at Indians, 8/26-8/29 vs. A’s, 8/30-9/1 vs. Orioles

The Royals went 2-4. Their year-end numbers did not change.


2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 45-78, minus-146

2019 projected record and run differential: 60-102, minus-188

Upcoming schedule: 8/20-8/22 at Braves, 8/23-8/25 vs. Phillies, 8/26-8/29 vs. Reds, 8/30-9/1 at Nationals

The Fish went 1-5 and lost two games off their final projections. They stand just a game back of the Royals for third right now with the same number of wins but two fewer losses.

Blue Jays

2019 record and run differential (entering Tuesday): 52-75, minus-53

2019 projected record and run differential: 68-94, minus-71

Upcoming schedule: 8/20-8/22 at Dodgers, 8/23-8/25 at Mariners, 8/27-8/28 vs. Braves, 8/30-9/1 at Astros

The Jays won just two of their five games and dropped two to the Mariners, who dropped out of the Tank Race Five for the time being after winning five games last week.

For those of you who want a Cliff’s Notes version, MLB Network’s Quick Pitch stole a little of our thunder with this graphic Monday evening: