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Marlins fan confidence through the roof, but rest of MLB doubts them

The Marlins have spent nearly the entire 2020 season at or above the .500 mark. That’ll likely be good enough to snap their postseason drought.

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Way back in summer camp, Fish Stripes found a few true believers in the 2020 Marlins. But by and large, experts and fans alike estimated that it would take another year for this rebuild to yield a postseason contender. When most of the active roster caught COVID-19 in late July, it seemed like far too much adversity to overcome during a shortened MLB season.

And yet, here we are. The Marlins enter Thursday with a 25-22 record, controlling their own destiny in the pursuit of October baseball. If certain results around the majors go Miami’s way, this club could be hosting a first-round series. The Fish have already “rewarded” the early bandwagoners who took the over on 24.5 regular season wins that was offered by most sportsbooks.

Through the SB Nation Reacts survey, we consistently check on the confidence level of the Marlins fanbase. After “bottoming out” at 84% during the first week of September, it shot up to 95% on Sept. 8 and remained relatively steady at 94% on Sept. 15.

However, that question encapsulates the overall direction of the franchise. What about the potential of the 2020 squad?

No team with a negative run differential—the Marlins are at minus-20—has ever won a World Series. Though the offense has improved during the course of the season, they are more likely to be shut out than to score double digits. And for all the praise that these starting pitchers have garnered, there is a lot of volatility beyond the top three rotation spots.

When clumped together with the Padres, White Sox and Blue Jays (this season’s other most surprising teams), only 13% of MLB fans perceive the Fish as the biggest threat to make a deep run.

The Marlins are presently on pace for the No. 5 seed in the National League. That would mean flying out to San Diego for a best-of-three series to earn their place in the postseason bubble. To make their path a little easier, the Fish can rally for the No. 3 seed by erasing a 2.5-game deficit in the NL East and overtaking the Braves for the division title.

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