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Marlins’ starting pitching is thriving

Miami’s 1-2-3 pitchers are carrying the team on their shoulders.

Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins prepares to throw a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on April 28, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

If there’s a reason to be excited about this Marlins team, their starting pitching is the prime candidate. So far in 2021, this group is largely responsible for Miami’s 13-16 overall record which has them within a couple games of the National League East lead.

Want to know how good they’ve been? In terms of ERA, the starters are sixth in the Majors and fifth in the NL, with 3.24. In the senior circuit, they’re sixth in WHIP (1.18) and BAA (.227).

Unfortunately, you can’t measure them by looking at wins, as they’ve been unlucky as heck: only four wins (tied for worst with the Angels) and nine losses.

In case you’re asking for more, the Marlins and the Dodgers are the only teams with more than two starters with a 3.00 ERA (both have three). In the case of Miami, those are Sandy Alcántara, Pablo López, and rookie Trevor Rogers. Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urías are the ones wearing the LA jersey.

That trio is as better as anyone else in the Majors. They combine for 110 13 innings of 81 hits, 30 earned runs, 35 bases on balls, 120 strikeouts, and a 2.45 ERA. Just to have a reference, the last individual Marlin to have a 2.45 ERA across such a large sample was José Fernández in 2013.

Despite injuries and improvisation that have led to some short outings, the starting rotation has kept its dominance. In fact, in the 10 most recent games (entering Thursday), it carries a 2.68 ERA—the average of just 4.7 innings per start is sandbagged by short performances from Ross Detwiler, Paul Campbell and Daniel Castano.

Even better, the rotation should receive an important boost anytime soon when Sixto Sánchez makes his 2021 debut and Elieser Hernández comes back from the injured list.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Marlins are in fifth place. As long as their pitching staff keeps being this dominant, they should remain a tough team to beat in the senior circuit.