The Miami Marlins are six games over .500 and if the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years — This is incredible considering they rank 28th in payroll, with just five players earning over $3 million this season (and are run by clowns).
Dan Le Batard thinks they’re “not very good” because of their mediocre run differential of +13. For perspective, teams ahead of them have run differentials of +182 (Cubs), +135 (Nats), +72 (Cardinals), +64 (Dodgers), and +51 (Giants).
“These close games that they’ve been winning, there’s been an arbitrary nature to them winning those close games and now all the sudden they’re not winning them,” he said during the local hour of his radio show on Tuesday. “I’m arguing that they’re not very good and you can’t dispute that … The reason they have the record that they do is because there are so many bad teams in the National League.
“What I’m also doing is be careful how much hope you put in the next six weeks because I’m telling you the team you’re putting this hope into is not that good. That’s what I’m telling you.”
Le Batard has a point.
Getting too excited about this team is foolish whether they’re in playoff position or not. Point differential is a far better indicator of strength than record because of the randomness of close wins and losses and this is the case for any major team sport. Just because two teams have an equal record, it does not make them equals.
It’s okay to remain skeptical of the Marlins even if they find a way to slither into the postseason.
Their run differential back in 2003 when they won the World Series as a Wild Card wasn’t dominant but it was still far above mediocre, at +59.
Local Hour of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz [ESPN Radio]