The Fish are once again out of the MLB playoffs in August. But there is still plenty of reason to keep watching this team in the final two months. These guys could be a spoiler if they can get Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton back and healthy. With Jose Fernandez pitching and those two guys in the lineup, Miami is one of baseball’s best teams once every fifth day. On the days Dan Haren pitches they are pretty good too.
As of right now, the trade deadline has not hit, so Haren could be dealt for some prospects. We just saw Mat Latos moved as well as Michael Morse to the Dodgers for prospects. Miami has already dealt former closer Steve Cishek so we know they are selling, which is nothing new here. Look for Martin Prado to be traded soon.
Miami usually does well when they deal vets for prospects though. So while they may sacrifice the rest of this season, this may help them in the long run.
Checking the Miami Marlins schedule, the teams that are in the playoff hunt that Miami will see in August include the New York Mets on the 3rd, 4th and 5th, the St. Louis Cardinals August 14-16, the Pittsburgh Pirates August 24-27 and the Washington Nationals on August 28-30.
The Nats and Mets are in a really tight race in the N. L. East, so looking at the Miami Marlins schedule, the Fish will have a say-so in who wins this division.
Other notable series in August, they have the Boston Red Sox coming to town on the 11th and 12th and the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta on the 6-9 and the Phillies come in for four games August 20-23. The Braves will end August and begin September in Miami August 31-September 2.
The Phillies series will be big if the Fish want to stay out of last place in the division. Also, the Braves series will be big because finishing third is still well within reach as they enter tonight’s play only 4.0 behind Atlanta.
Other notable September series on the Miami Marlins schedule include the Mets on the 4th through the 6th, the Nats on the 11th through the 13th, both at home, at New York September 14-16, at Washington September 17-20, and at the Tampa Bay Rays September 29 through October 1. The Rays could still be in the American League Wild Card race then. So still a lot of exciting series are on the schedule for Miami.
But the main reasons to keep watching will be to see if Gordon can win the National League batting title and if Stanton can hit some more 500’ homers and maybe get to 40 for the season.
Graphic via metstradamusblog
Gordon is at .341 on the season, which ranks him second behind Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks who is currently hitting .347. So winning the batting title for Gordon is certainly well within reach.
Stanton is also still tied for the National League home run lead even though he’s missed almost an entire month. He is tied at 27 with Bryce Harper of the Nats and Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds. It would be amazing if he wins the home run title in a season when he would miss about six weeks with a broken hand. He isn’t all that far behind for the RBIs lead either with 67 which ties him for third.
It will also be interesting to see if Fernandez can get to 10 wins in a half season. In only five starts he is already 4-0. This would be a smart pick to win next year’s National League Cy Young Award.
Here is an eye opening stat for you: Fernandez has still yet to lose a game at Marlins Park. That’s not just this year. That is EVER! Yes, that’s right. He may literally be unbeatable at home! Of course he will lose a home game eventually, but that is a really amazing streak. Imagine the fuss if Matt Harvey had still not lost a game at Citi Field.
With Gordon, Stanton and Fernandez, the Marlins sure do have three great players to build around. This will be a team to watch for going into next season. If they finish this season in third place in the East, they would be a good pick to win it in 2016.
Graphic via marlinmaniac