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2013 Preview: Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins


What They Did:        69-93, 5th Place NL East.

     Actual Runs:        Scored 609 runs, Allowed 724.

                                  Expected wins based on RS and RA:  68.3 (0.7 below actual)

          Restated:        Scored 632 runs, Allowed 695.

                                  Exp. wins based on restated RS and RA:  73.9 (4.9 above actual)


(Glossary: Expected wins, based on a modification of Bill James’ Pythagorean Theorem, are the amount of wins a team should win in any season based on the amount of runs it actually scored and allowed.  Deviations will be explained in the appropriate team capsules.

Restated Runs Scored and Runs Allowed are the amount of runs a team should have tallied based on its actual components of batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging achieved/allowed.  In the case of the Marlins, if they posted exactly the same stats in 2013 as 2012, they should expect to win 74 games.)

It may feel like I’m giving Miami the short end of the analysis stick, but I assure you that’s not the case.  I’ve already covered them.  How, you ask?  Well in the Cleveland essay I mentioned that Nick Swisher was replacing 2012’s worst-performing everyday player in the Major Leagues, Casey Kotchman.  Just this week, in the Phillies piece I marveled at the fact that Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco collectively hit home runs less frequently that the average National League pitcher.  (By the way, I still can’t get over that.) 

Anytime I write about the  importance of pitchers who can strike batters out and I mention someone who doesn’t have that skill, I always have to caveat that with “but he was better than Henderson Alvarez” – who struck out less than 10% of the batters he face in 188 innings pitched in 2012!  That’s about the rate that strikeouts occur when a position player takes the mound in the 9th inning of a 15-run blowout.

Guess what?  Kotchman, Pierre, Polanco, and Alvarez have all headed to Miami this year.  Ladies and gentlemen your 2012 Miami Marlins!

Oddsmakers’ expectations:  The Marlins are going to be terrible this year and as good as Giancarlo Stanton is, he’s a wasted fantasy pick.  Miami will be the lowest scoring team in the majors by maybe a 50-run margin.  This isn’t saying anything that isn’t well known.  The Marlins total wins market is set at 64 wins and while that’s exactly what my projection comes out to, there’s more room to the downside than upside.  If Miami gets mid-season offers for Stanton and decide to trade him and/or their best starter Ricky Nolasco, this is a team on par with the 100-loss Astros last year. 

2013 Outlook:

64-98 – Fifth in NL East

599 Runs Scored       751 Runs Allowed


Mop Up Duty:

Joe Peta is the author of Trading Bases, A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball*  (*) Not necessarily in that order, a Dutton Books/Penguin (U.S.A.) publication currently available wherever books are sold.  Here are three on-line booksellers you can currently choose from:

He is also the author of Trading Bases, the Newsletter, a companion piece to the book.  If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to be placed on the mailing list, please send an e-mail to

All newsletter archives are located at

You can follow me on Twitter here:  @MagicRatSF

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