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How to Start Betting on MLB

If you visit one of the reputable online bookmakers, you will see it offers loads of sports. That’s not surprising because people in different countries like some sports more than others, especially when it comes down to betting.

 

The U.S. is one of the countries where online betting is becoming more popular every day, which is why some bookies started paying more attention to it. As you probably know, there are many popular sports there, one of which is baseball. That’s why this is also the preferred option for many bettors.

 

Baseball has a lot of fans, even in other places around the world, but if you want to watch the best teams in action, you need to check the MLB. Let’s go through some of the aspects you should know about this amazing league before you start betting.

 

Learn more about the sport

 

While it is true that baseball and the MBL have millions of fans in the U.S., this sport and the league don’t have that many followers outside the country. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some bettors don’t know a lot of information about it.

 

Fortunately, this isn’t a problem because you can always check this MLB baseball guide by Nostrabet and learn everything about the sport. Besides the rules, you can also check some of the important terminology, the history of the sport, and the different baseball leagues. Of course, the MBL is the most popular competition, but there are other things that you can choose from.

 

Choose a suitable online bookmaker

 

After you learn more about the sport and the MLB, it is time to visit at least several sports betting websites before choosing your new bookie. Since baseball is not among the go-to options for most punters, gambling websites don’t always offer a lot of markets and options for any MLB matches. Fortunately, the baseball betting guide found on Nostrabet will also provide you with valuable information regarding the top bookies for baseball betting. As you can probably guess, most of them have a permit that allows them to operate within the U.S.

 

The most important thing when choosing a bookie is to make sure it has a lot of markets. Due to the fact that baseball and the MLB are not the most popular sport for betting, even some of the brands that pay more attention to it do not provide their users with any special markets.

 

Make sure you fully understand how the MLB works

 

Every baseball fan knows how the MLB works, but this isn’t true for everyone, especially those new to the sport. Once you start reading more information about it, you will see that the MLB consists of two leagues – the American League and the National League. To make things even more complicated, each league has three divisions.

 

In total, every team that is a part of the MLB plays around 162 games in six months, which means there are plenty of things to bet on.

5 Takeaways from a week of Marlins Baseball

After taking 3 of 4 from the Atlanta Braves early last week, the Marlins came home and took 2 of 3 from the San Francisco Giants. This caps a week of positives for the Fish, as they look forward to a much easier schedule in the coming weeks. After a slow and demoralizing start, the pieces are starting to come together in Miami. 

 

Here are 5 takeaways from a successful Marlins run:

 

Marlins Win When They Score

 

I know, isn’t that the basics of baseball? You score and you win, simple. For the Marlins, it hasn’t been so easy. With a consistent lack of production from the bats earlier in the season, the Fish put together a strong set of games offensively. The Marlins are now 5-1 in games where they score 5 or more runs and a whopping 2-7 in games where they don’t. Regardless of who is on the mound, the bats are determinant of when and how the Marlins win.

 

Especially with the talent the Marlins have in pitching, it makes it more strange that this season will come down to how well the bats can perform consistently. Nevertheless, the Marlins found a way to win low scoring games last season, and they need to start doing so this year to keep the pressure off of an inconsistent lineup.

Jorge Alfaro is a fine option

 

Out of 54 qualified catchers in the early 2021 season, Jorge Alfaro ranks 16th in framing. Obviously, he is no Russell Martin behind the plate, but he is actually performing well-above expectations defensively. The passed balls he has allowed have skewed the narrative on his performance. Now, with his bat finally waking up, he may be the best option the Marlins have at the catcher’s position. He is not a juggernaut offensively or defensively, but all he needs to be is average.

 

Trade rumors have circulated for months about Wilson Contreras replacing Alfaro/Wallach in Miami. Contreras, although a superior hitter, is 41st among qualified catchers in framing. At this point in the year, the Marlins should focus on putting their young pitchers in the best situation possible. A good defensive catcher gives them even more leeway to develop further. 

Adam Duvall can carry an offense

 

It is no secret that the former Brave can swing the bat. He terrorized his old team in Atlanta, especially in Tuesday’s game where he went 4-5 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. He is still trying to figure out how to hit elsewhere, but once he does, he can carry this Miami offense on nights where the rest of the lineup is faltering. His bat alone almost won that game in Atlanta on a night where the Braves scored 8 runs, as he accounted for half of the runs in a 14-8 win. Duvall getting his bat consistent is a central key to this Marlins team’s future. 

Starling Marte is… clutch

Marte is central to every operation on this Miami Marlins team. He is invaluable offensively and defensively, and he is the guy who picks up the important hits in key situations. In Friday’s win versus the Giants, his 3-run homer in the 8th sealed the deal. On Saturday, his 2-out RBI single in the 9th tied the game, leading to an eventual win. In Sunday’s 1-0 loss, Marte elft the game with an apparent injury in the bottom of the 9th. In Don Mattingly’s post-game interview, he expressed the “Next man up” mentality that the Marlins have.

 

There may not be a next man up to replace anything near what Marte provides. Hopefully, for the Marlins sake, it isn’t that serious.

Marlins compete versus good teams

 

It is no easy feat to start a season versus the defending AL Champs, the presumptive NL Central winners in St. Louis, a revamped first place Mets team, and a Braves team that was one game away from the World Series. The Marlins left those games just 2-games under .500, and now sit one game under heading into a much easier schedule. They play the Orioles, Giants (again), Milwaukee, Arizona, and Washington. 

 

This set of games may be the most important of the season for the Marlins as they try to take advantage and gain ground in the standings. They don’t play the Mets until late-May and the Braves until early June, so this is the time for the Marlins to show what they are capable of. 

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Marlins Overall Takeaway

 

There is something special brewing in Miami (and not just Marlins Lager from Biscayne Bay Brewing). This team feels different from even last year’s squad. Baseball is fun to watch again in Miami, and this Marlins team still has a lot to prove. Enjoy a fun week of Marlins baseball ahead, Marlins fans.

 

Player Spotlight: Sandy Alcantara

Sandy Alcantara: Elite

There is no doubt in the world that Sandy Alcantara is the ace of the Miami Marlins. Over the course of just a few seasons, Sandy has elevated his game higher and higher with each passing start… and that is not an exaggeration. When looking at every basic and advanced analytic in the book, it is clear that Sandy is evolving at an extremely fast pace. Let’s take a look at what has allowed this progression:

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Changeup Usage

 

Arguably, the best pitch in Sandy Alcantara’s arsenal is his changeup. Between 2017 and 2020, Alcantara threw a changeup on just 12% of his pitches with it maxing out at 13% in 2018. However, in 2021, Sandy has thrown his changeup on 23% of his pitches. The result? Through his first 2 starts of 2021, Sandy is posting career highs in K%, BB%, xBA, xSLG, and xWOBA. With Sandy being in the top 6% of pitchers this season in three of the stats (xBA, xSLG, xWOBA), Sandy is becoming recognized around the league as a dominant force. His trust and confidence in his changeup has allowed quicker progression as a young starter, posting career lows in ERA, xERA, and WHIP in 2020 and to start 2021. 

 

Pitch Location

 

For any power pitcher, location becomes the attribute that differentiates between the deGroms and the rest of the pack. In his young career, Sandy has had opponents get the “sweet spot” of the bat on the ball at a relatively higher clip (Sweet Spot % 2017-2019: 69.6, 32.5, 29.9). His growth as a pitcher is most evident in 2020 and the start of 2021, where batters are getting the sweet spot on the ball just 21% of the time. He was transitioned to working out of the zone, being effectively wild. A high proportion of his pitches are thrown out of the zone inside and low to righties and up and into lefties. This shift in approach has created a career high in chase rate over the past two years, putting him in the top percentiles of Major League Baseball.

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Spin Rate

 

In his 2017 debut season, Sandy’s fastball came out of the gate averaging 98 MPH with a relatively low spin rate for that kind of velocity. In his next few seasons, Sandy lowered his fastball velocity (around 95 MPH in 2018) and focused on raising the spin on his pitches. Now, he has combined an average velocity of 97 MPH (92nd Percentile in 2020) and a spin rate in the 75th Percentile. This change has allowed him to control his elite fastball more effectively, posting dwindling numbers in batters Hard Hit %. With just 28.2% of balls in play hit hard in 2020 and 15.4% in early 2021, these numbers continue to get better as the spin rate and velocity of Sandy’s pitches increase. 

 

Sandy will continue to grow

 

This growth in such a short amount of time in the baseball world is quite rare. The loss of Jose Fernandez a few years ago was demoralizing, but the Marlins have finally found an elite arm to take up the “Ace” duties. Alcantara should be a dark horse for NL Cy Young this season. Regardless, he will be a mainstay on a dangerous Marlins rotation for years to come. The sky’s the limit.

 

Shoutout to Fangraphs, Baseball Savant, and Sports Info Solutions  for the data.

Follow me on Twitter @chasechrisjr for daily Marlins coverage.

Positive Takeaways from Struggling Marlins

Yesterday’s contest between the Miami Marlins and New York Mets ended in quite the unorthodox way. With the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the 9th, the Mets threatened to win the game with the bases loaded and only one out. Michael Conforto stepped into the box against a struggling Anthony Bass, looking to give the Mets a win on their Home Opener. With 2 strikes, Conforto leaned into the pitch drawing, what looked to be, a game winning Hit By Pitch. The pitch, clearly a strike on the inner half of the plate, was ruled to be the end of the game by Home Umpire Ron Kulpa. 

 

As an enraged Don Mattingly and Marlins’ team-leader Miguel Rojas argued the blatantly incorrect call, the umpires walked off the field, unable to correct a “judgment” call. The Fish left the ballpark in defeat, officially starting the season at 1-6. The Mets, on the other hand, improved to 2-2, and still remain much better odds to compete in the National League East according to VW Sports Betting

 

It is easy to point towards that moment as the key factor in yesterday’s loss for the Marlins, but doing so overshadows the countless other missed opportunities throughout Thursday’s game for the Marlins. The Marlins “Why not us?” mentality that pushed them through last season looks to have evaporated in early 2021. But rather than dwelling on what could have been through the first week of the season, here are the positives that the “Bottom Feeders” can build on to find their way back to a winning mentality.

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Marlins Starting Pitching

Sandy Alcantara

Sandy Alcantara continues to be the ace that the Marlins need. In his 12 innings of work, he has allowed just 3 runs (2 ER) on 17 strikeouts, 6 hits, and 4 walks. He has been everything that the Marlins could ask for in his first two starts. With only a total of 2-runs of support from his offense in innings which he has pitched, Sandy has simply gotten the short end of the stick. He’s the guy. The Marlins haven’t had anything near this level of production since Jose Fernandez. 

 

Pablo Lopez

In an even better turn of events, Pablo Lopez has continued to surprise the baseball world. He has thrown 11.2 innings this season, only allowing 2-runs off the bat of a Yadier Molina home run. Pablo has been nothing short of brilliant in his outings this season, eliciting a 57.1% groundball rate, the highest of his career. He, much like Sandy, has gotten a grand total of 0 runs of support while he is on the mound.

 

Keeping it close

In the Marlins 6 losses to date, they have only lost by 4 or more runs one time (Wednesday’s 7-0 loss to STL). It is clear that the bats have not woken up yet; however, in a positive twist, when they do wake up, it could be enough to put the Marlins over the top. The Marlins played close baseball all of last season and won close ball games at a higher clip than most teams throughout the league. The bats are performing below expectations at the moment, preventing close games from going in the Marlins favor. It is a long season, and when the bats put the pieces together, things will change.

 

It’s a long season!

Did you know that in last season’s 60 games, there were not one but two sets of 7 games where the Marlins went 1-6? Even with a shorter amount of time, the Marlins managed to finish the season with a 31-29 record. Although a similar record may not make the playoffs this season, all the Marlins are looking to do is grow as a team. There is still plenty of time for the Marlins to go on 6-1 runs to even their record back to .500 and beyond. And there is still plenty of time for the Marlins to go on more 1-6 runs. 

 

In a 162 game season, expect we can expect this to happen multiple times. There is no need to panic. Statistically, this Marlins team is around that of a .500 ballclub. The law of large numbers is a mathematical/statistical fact, and one that will play in the Marlins favor going forward.

 

Overall for Marlins

 

To players, coaches, and fans, this start may feel like rock bottom especially in comparison to last season’s 7-1 start. But this start will not last for long, and the Marlins will find their way back to the team they truly are. They really are the “Bottom Feeders” right now, but as we all know, that hasn’t held them back before. 

 

Marlins/Mets Series Preview

After a disappointing 1-5 start to the season, the Miami Marlins start their first road trip of the year in New York versus the new look Mets. Throughout the first 6 games, the Marlins have been plagued by an inability to hit with RISP and with 2-outs: both key elements of last year’s playoff run. It will not get any easier in the Big Apple, as the Mets are lined up to pitch Taijuan Walker, Jacob deGrom, and Marcus Stroman. 

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Game 1 (Thursday 1:10 PM EST): Nick Neidert (0-0, / ERA) vs Taijuan Walker (0-0, / ERA)

Keys for Marlins: Neidert, Bats getting back on track

Neidert takes the mound for his first career start for the Marlins. After posting solid numbers throughout his career in the minors, Neidert hopes to continue a positive start for Marlins starting pitchers this season. Every starter, barring Elieser Hernandez’s injury-shortened outing, has been able to keep the bats they have faced at bay. There, however, has been nothing to show for it through 6 games. LoanDepot Park has not been a friendly sight for Marlins hitters, and weirdly enough, there is an expectation that pitchers will get more run support on the road this season. A 24-year-old Neidert is matched up against an extremely potent New York Mets lineup, which serves as a tough obstacle on start 1.

Keys for Mets: Walker having a Quality Start

His counterpart Taijuan Walker was 4-3 last season with a 2.70 ERA pitching for the Mariners and Blue Jays. Walker was injured throughout 2018 and 2019, but in seasons where he was healthy, has been a steady innings eater with a consistent ERA in the high 3s. Walker, although a solid arm, will be the lowest quality starter the Marlins will face in this series. It is important that the bats break out in this game to set the tone for games 2 and 3.

Game 2 (Saturday 1:10 PM EST): Trevor Rogers (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs Jacob deGrom (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Keys for Marlins: Rogers settling in, Late-inning magic

After a shaky first inning in which he allowed 3 runs on Monday versus the Cardinals, Trevor Rogers settled in to throw 3 shutout innings to finish his night. In those 3 innings, his fastball looked electric and he looked much more settled in. In his post game press conference, he mentioned that he was too “amped up.” With the first start with fans out of the way for Rogers, he is looking to continue to grow from his stellar Spring Training this season. The Mets offer another difficult lineup to navigate as a pitcher, but Rogers did just that last year. Two of his better starts came against the Mets last season, both of which resulted in Marlins’ wins. 

Keys for Mets: deGrom doing deGrom things

In his first start of the season, deGrom was stupendous (per usual). He will once again be rightfully in Cy Young talks as his game continues to get better with age. However, over the course of his career, he has struggled somewhat versus the Marlins. The Marlins got a win when he was on the mound last season, but with the bats continuing to struggle, the most likely hope for Miami this season lies in the late innings. Much like the Marlins’ starters, deGrom has had infamously low run support throughout his career. If Rogers can keep it close with deGrom, the Marlins can piece together a win, just like the Phillies did against the Mets on their Opening Day.

Game 3 (Sunday 1:10 PM EST): TBD vs Marcus Stroman (1-0, 1.50 ERA)

Keys for Marlins: Bullpen

Don Mattingly mentioned that the Marlins will most likely not start Sandy Alcantara on Sunday, even though technically it is his turn in the rotation. Whoever the Marlins go with, this will be a game decided on their bullpen. With a weak start in comparison to expectations this season, the Marlins’ new-look bullpen will have a chance to get back on track this game and series. With two young arms in Games 1 and 2 and the makings of a bullpen game in game 3, there will be plenty of chances for a bullpen to right the sinking ship in Miami.

Keys for Mets: Stroman

The Mets will counter with Marcus Stroman, a consistently solid starter over the course of his career. Stroman put together 6 masterful innings of 1-run ball in his first outing in route to a Mets win. The former Blue Jay has been the definition of consistent in his time in the MLB as he continues to bounce back after a poor 2018 season. Stroman has ace-quality stuff, and will bring his normal on Sunday.

Overall for Marlins

 

The Marlins starting pitching has been everything Marlins’ fans have asked for. Every other aspect of this team has dwindled in comparison. With an extremely tough task ahead in the Mets, the Marlins need their bats to break out (or at least play small ball in key situations) or they can easily be swept away by a good Mets team. This task becomes even harder when the Marlins aren’t expected to pitch Sandy or Pablo. 

This series is extremely important for the Marlins to bounce back before they head to Atlanta, where they have consistently struggled over the past few years. Sitting at 1-5, the Marlins could easily finish this series at 1-8 if the adequate changes are not made heading in. 

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Five Possibilities for Marlins spring training

The Marlins are one of the MLB’s most interesting franchises. Founded in 1993, they’re a young team. They’ve never won a division title and seen the league’s fewest playoff appearances with three total. Even so, they’ve got two World Series titles to their name, and one accounts for the MLB’s only championship-winning Wild Card berth.

Needless to say, it’s been an interesting run for baseball fans in Miami. In the past few years, the Marlins have sought to rebuild their roster from the ground up. Rather than sign on trusty senior players, Don Mattingly and franchise execs are looking to revitalize the squad with up-and-coming players. 

Though it’s been slow going, the team’s roster heading towards 2021’s Opening Day has depth, talent, and more than a few possible stars. As the Marlins cruise through Spring Training in Jupiter with the Cards, fans and pundits alike have their eyes on the Fish.

Each year, Spring Training gives fans the opportunity to size up their own team along with divisional competition. League experts who provide analysis on MLB betting odds rely on a team’s performance in Spring Training to gauge how rosters will be constructed heading into the regular season.

Meanwhile, on the diamond, rookies battle against each other to make it onto a team’s final 26-man roster. Though not official games, Spring Training can be some of the most high-pressure games for certain players looking to graduate from a team’s farming system, like the Marlins’ Sixto Sánchez and Trevor Rogers.

 

Elieser Hernandez pitching against the Saint Louis Cardinals in the 2021 Spring Training. Picture by Alejandro Villegas

 

Chisolm or Díaz Take Second

With solid moves in the off-season that have left the Marlins with a nearly-set roster, this year’s battle for second base is the franchise’s most hotly-contested position. Both prospects, Jazz Chisolm and Isan Díaz, the latter of which is coming off a groin injury from 2020. 

With both players plenty comfortable in the field, it’s their batting records that will likely decide who ends up on second. Though there’s also been some movement from Jon Berti, pundits and fans seem to lean on Díaz as a final candidate on the roster. 

Though only 24, Díaz has more experience than Chisolm has a (slightly) better record at-bat, and is a strong, reliable player. Given the Marlins’ need for a stronger offense, the verdict is likely to land with Díaz on second, Chisolm back in Triple-A for another season, and Berti floating around as a utility player. 

 

Isan Diaz at Clover Park in the 2021 Spring Training. Picture by Alejandro Villegas

 

 

Rogers or Neidert Take the Mound

With 39 pitchers on their list, the Marlins don’t have an empty mound by any stretch of the imagination. But with senior talent José Ureña gone, Sandy Alcantara will be the starting pitcher, with relievers Pablo López, Sixto Sánchez, and Eleiser Hernandez jockeying behind him.

That leaves a fifth position open for a newcomer.

At the moment, pundits have their eye on Trevor Rogers and Nick Neidert to inch into the starting rotation. Though Rogers’ ERA isn’t anything to write home about at 6.11, his strikeout stats show a promising future on the mound.

However, Neidert has experience on the mound after a few appearances in 2020. Given he was already in a bullpen role last season, Neidert is the stronger candidate—though Rogers is likely to graduate from Triple-A soon.

 

Aguilar Takes First Base

Between Jesús Aguilar and Garrett Cooper, the obvious candidate for the first base starter is Aguilar. He’s consistent and hasn’t struggled with injuries since entering the major leagues like Cooper.

With Adam Duvall, recently signed to the Marlins, heading for the outfield, it’s likely Cooper will serve as Aguilar’s backup—though some would prefer to see him as an all-around utility player and boost at the plate. The only issue is Cooper’s ongoing health concerns. 

Should he manage to go through the 2021 season without any barring injuries, he could find a more permanent place with the Marlins. However, at age 30, Cooper is running out of time to find his rhythm—especially as the Marlins look to revitalize their roster for a long-haul run in the east division.

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Marlins Trade for John Curtiss

The Marlins made another impressive move the other day, going out and trading for John Curtiss. Curtiss, who helped lead the Rays to an AL Championship this past season, had a 3-0 record with a 1.80 ERA last season. Although he stumbled in the postseason, the Marlins have added another quality arm to their bullpen. With Detwiler, Cimber, Bass, Floro, and now Curtiss added to the mix, the bullpen looks strong headed into the 2021 season (at least stronger than it was last year). 

Curtiss Makes Marlins ‘Pen Even More Stable

Curtiss provides even more stability to the Marlins bullpen and could be a key piece in a well-balanced bullpen. In his 2/17 press conference Don Mattingly expressed how reliant the Marlins will be on pitching this season, maybe even more so than last year. Now, with an elite starting rotation and a solid bullpen to back it up, this season and its future are looking much brighter in Miami.

Marlins Bullpen Depth Looks Good

Miami’s bullpen is now the strongest it has been in a long time. The depth they have is unprecedented for the Marlins and when combined with Sandy, Sixto, and Pablo on most nights, could be the deciding factor in high caliber games versus the strong NL East. The Marlins have solidified themselves as a top 20 team at this point, but their in-division competition may make it look otherwise. 

Overall Takeaway

It looks like Miami is pushing to compete this season. Regardless of the outcome, they have made extremely solid moves in an attempt to win. For a young Marlins team, the goal is to perform better this year than last; however, that may just mean the bats start working and the pitching is good, not necessarily a playoff berth. That is all Miami can ask for, and now, all that is left is to see how it pans out.

Marlins Ng

Marlins Missing More FA Opportunities

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Chasen Shreve to a minor league deal today. Shreve is a crafty left that utilizes a devastating splitter to his advantage, which led to a solid 3.96 ERA over 25 innings with the Mets last season. The Miami Marlins had an interest in Shreve throughout this offseason, but couldn’t seal the deal.

Shreve Loss is not the issue

This is not a devastating loss, but Shreve offered another cheap option for the Marlins to bolster their middle of the road bullpen. As Kim Ng mentioned in her latest press conference, this Marlins team looks to be what we will see on Opening Day. Reports have led me to believe the Marlins are still looking for bullpen pieces this upcoming season. Names such as Brandon Kintzler continue to pop up, but with less and less time to pull the trigger, the Marlins may settle for what they have. 

Is the Marlins bullpen enough as is?

The bullpen, especially the backend, provided stability last season for the Marlins that allowed them to close out close games as most of their games were decided by a few runs. With less and less options on the market, it is hard to believe that the current bullpen will be enough to sustain a playoff run in a 154 game season. On the same end, it is unlikely any single addition would boost this bullpen to the next level. 

Overall

As more time passes and more names fall off the list of potential additions, Marlins fans may have to accept what we are seeing now is exactly what we are going to get. Nothing about this roster stands out to me as a playoff roster, but then again, neither did last year’s.

 

Arenado trade has big NL Implications

Here in Miami, we know a thing or two about trading away MLB stars. As we’ve seen the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna take their talents elsewhere, we have become accustomed to trades that leave Marlins fans feeling as if they got the short end of the stick.

 

At least the Marlins aren’t the Rockies right now. The Rockies started the short 2020 season a scorching hot 12-4. They finished 26-34. And now, they have let go of their franchise 3rd baseman, Nolan Arenado. Being heralded as the worst trade in Colorado history, this trade left the Rockies even worse off and the St. Louis Cardinals in prime shape to re-emerge as the NL powerhouse of past years,

 

The Rockies effectively paid the Cardinals $51 million to take the 8-time Gold Glove Winner and 5 time All-Star off their hands for minimal return.

 

This trade continues to shape a blooming National League, and here are the key reasons any team (including the Marlins) should take notice:

 

NL Central becomes more defined

 

With this trade, a 2020 Wild Card berth for the Cardinals looks to transition into a 2021 NL Central Championship, especially with the Cubs under a firehouse sale. With Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Jack Flaherty, and an overall solid roster to back them up, the Cardinals are the new favorites in the Central. Most likely, this leaves the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs to fight for a Wild Card spot.

 

Wild Card Back May go back to Normal

 

Talks on this subject are 50/50, between maintaining an extended playoffs and returning to a normal structure. If there is a return, the structure leaves multiple teams that succeeded last year in a much worse position. 2 Wild Cards means and 3 Division Winners means 3 less teams in October. With all 3 divisions looking relatively decided, there is not going to be much excitement for teams such as the Marlins.

 

    1. NL West: Dodgers or Padres (2nd place will be WC1)

 

       2. NL Central: Cardinals

 

       3. NL East: Braves or Mets (2nd Place will be WC2)

 

No extended playoffs means a determined 5 or so teams. In my opinion, the level of competition from those competitors in a long 154 game season will outlast teams such as the Marlins, Brewers, and Phillies that rely on a smaller sample size to succeed.

 

Overall

With a more determined “top 5” emerging in the NL, teams like the Marlins need to hope that extended playoffs are here to stay. If not, the NL will shape up exactly as we expect it to.

 

 

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Marlins Sign Detwiler and Leon

Since the announcement of Kim Ng as the new Miami Marlins General Manager, the offseason has been relatively quiet. There were a lot of questions as to what she would do first, and it looks like we finally have our answer. Rather than shooting for big names, she has decided to buy low. The two biggest signings of her tenure happened recently, and although they aren’t stars, they have the capability to make this Marlins team better at a cheap price. 

 

LHP Ross Detwiler and C Sandy Leon were the initial targets of choice for Ng. Both players serve a role for the “Bottom Feeders” in the upcoming 2021 season. They add depth in two areas that the Marlins were previously lacking in.

 

Ross Detwiler

 

The 34-year-old southpaw was signed to a 1 year $850,000 deal. The Marlins bullpen, outside of a few, struggled immensely in 2020. Richard Bleier was the only veteran lefty in the bullpen, and this lack of experience showed up in big moments through the likes of Stephen Tarpley, Trevor Rogers, and Daniel Castano. 

 

Coming off of a strong 2020 campaign, Detwiler provides more stability to a young bullpen. He effectively becomes a 2nd Richard Bleier. Statistically, the two pitchers are very similar and bring a lot of the same stuff to the table: low MPH fastballs which force them to rely on movement and control to get outs. Bleier was extremely effective last year, and if Detwiler fills the same role, they can split outings, allowing the Marlins to have access to a solid lefty arm every night of a long 162 game year.

 

Detwiler is not what Miami was directly hoping for but still could play a vital role in stabilizing a young and variable team.

 

Sandy Leon

 

Sandy Leon was another name that Miami fans did not expect to see. He signed to a minor league deal that may be worth $1.25 million if he makes the majors. In the 2020 season, the bullpen was a problem, but our catching situation was an absolute disaster. Francisco Cervelli was phenomenal in the few games he played before his injury forced his retirement, but after that, the woes of Chad Wallach and Jorge Alfaro plagued Miami. Wallach cannot hit and Alfaro cannot play defense. Wallach batted .227 (.071 in the playoffs) and Jorge Alfaro had -7 Defensive Runs Saved (-39 over a full season). 

 

Sandy Leon could be a guy like Cervelli in the right situation. Statistically, he has never been great offensively, but he was Chris Sale’s primary catcher in Boston. He is a good defender, saving runs that we would lose through Wallach and Alfaro. He may never live up to the season he hit .310 in Boston, but he could be exactly what the Marlins needed in the NLDS and need to save runs defensively.

 

Overall Takeaway for the Marlins

 

Nothing too groundbreaking going on in the Marlins front office right now. These signings prove that they are willing to go out and find solutions, but also may point to their understanding that this team is not ready to compete just yet. It seems that Kim Ng has taken a slower approach to success in Miami, and we will just have to wait to see if it pans out.

 

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