Yankees vs. Marlins Preview

As I’ve mentioned in recent series previews, no this is not a repeat.  The Yankees are playing another bad team, with some more bad ones coming up.

Miami is exactly what we all expected them to be when the season started:  Awful.

They received in the neighborhood of $50 million in revenue sharing during the off season but still managed to massively cut payroll (…?).  Unlike the As and the Pirates however who did the same things, the Marlins are still a god awful baseball team.

They’re 50-76 and given their run differential, they’re actually a worse team than 50-76 would indicate.

Offensively, they’re offensive (sorry, couldn’t resist).  Among NL teams they’re dead last in runs per game, slugging percentage and 2nd to last in OBP.  For some more perspective, they have team averages of .306 OBP and .362 SLG.  There are only 20 players in baseball that have both an OBP and SLG that bad in 2018.

In the run prevention department, they are just as bad.  They have zero starting pitchers with at least a league average ERA+, and their bullpen is worse.  As a team their pitchers are 2nd to last in K/BB ratio.  Add all that up and you get the worst team in the NL in runs allowed per game.

Oh, and Don Mattingly is a horrendous strategical manager.

Something you can watch over the next couple of days is Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.  He’s one of the game’s better players that we aren’t going to see or hear about too often as long as he plays in Florida.  Most baseball fans realize he’s been a pretty good player, but I’m not sure most realize just how good.

Among all Major League catchers since 2015, Realmuto is 2nd in both WAR and OPS+.  Former rookie of the year, MVP and future Hall of Famer Buster Posey has been the only catcher with higher OPS+ or WAR over that stretch.

So far in 2018, Realmuto is first among all catchers in both WAR and OPS+ and is a tick above average defensively according to Baseball Reference, Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus.  In fact, his 140 OPS+ this season is 21st in MLB among all position players and is ahead of Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Joey Votto, Rhys Hoskins and Giancarlo Stanton.

I’m usually the one preaching that baseball is hard – very, very hard – and that even the “worst” teams and players can and will beat the best.  But this upcoming stretch of 11 games the Yankees are starting tonight against Miami, followed by Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit is a stretch that they will be a heavy betting favorite in every game.  Is 10 out of 11 unrealistic (…?)

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