Thursday, September 1, 2016
Why Marlins in the Postseason Would Rule
Look...this has already been a prime season for underdog teams. The Cubs, Indians, Orioles and Astros have all been achieving greatness where nobody thought it was possible this year. Like usual, however, there's the usual lineup of teams like the Rangers, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers and Dodgers making a line behind them for the postseason. I mean...why shouldn't they? Those five are probably going to go down as some of the top teams of this decade when it eventually comes to a close, but...you probably could have called most of those five making some playoff runs when the season began.
And yes, even though the underdogs have come from behind and saved the day a lot, of late...predictability has won over. Last season the Royals were the one team of the Championship Series' that was actually predicted to make it there, and they won the World Series. People always predict the Cardinals to do well, which is why when they made World Series' in 2011 and 2013, nobody was fazed.
What baseball needs is one more renegade underdog story. The Cubs are becoming so much of the favorites that they might not even count as underdogs anymore. So...let's think about the Marlins for a moment.
Right now their big August lead over the Mets has diminished, thanks to the Mets winning 8 in 10 games. But they're still in third, and still may have enough momentum to get back there.
For starters...let's remind ourselves that they have one of the most surprisingly well put together lineups in baseball. The infield is Justin Bour-Dee Gordon-Adeiny Hechavarria-Martin Prado. The outfield is Marcell Ozuna-Christian Yelich-Ichiro. JT Realmuto is catching. Everybody on this team can hit like hell, and even bench players like Derek Dietrich, Chris Johnson and Jeff Francoeur are doing pretty damn well. Even when the team was in deep third last year, the lineup was strong like this.
Heck, the pitching staff isn't too bad- Jose Fernandez still has one of the best arms in baseball, and even if injuries have been hitting all around, people like Tom Koehler, David Phelps and Andrew Cashner have been coming in to help.
It's not a bad team, but they're going to have to fight the momentum of the defending champion Mets in order to actually make an impact this year, and break into an already tough Wild Card race. However...this year's due for one more insane comeback story, and I'd love it to be the Marlins.
Coming Tomorrow- The DH for a team that's right on the heels of one of those other underdog stories.