The Miami Marlins enter the 2021 season with plenty of optimism, but there are also some question marks as well. Miami came out of nowhere to make the playoffs in 2020, but the Marlins must prove they can do it for an entire 162-game season.
There are still plenty of young players on the roster, and they will need to improve.The National League East is also one of the toughest divisions in baseball, and that won’t make things easy on Miami.
The Miami Marlins proved that they are better built for a sprint than a marathon, making the playoffs in 2020 in the shortened season. The Marlins finished the regular season with a 31-29 record to earn a Wild-Card berth in the National League.
Miami didn’t stop there, going into Wrigley Field and sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the playoffs. Eventually, the Marlins were eliminated by the Atlanta Braves, but it was an impressive run for a young team.
Now it’s up to Miami to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, but the odds are against them in 2021, according to the sportsbook.
One constant when it comes to the Miami Marlins franchise is that the roster always seems to look different each year. Miami is returning a number of key players from a season ago, but they were able to make some nice additions as well.
Adam Duvall was signed as a free agent, and he should solidify a pretty good outfield group in Miami. The Marlins also brought in veteran Ross Detweiler via free agency, and he could play a significant role in the bullpen for Miami.
The biggest addition is having Starling Marte on the roster for an entire season after acquiring him last August.
Miami has a number of young players on the roster, and most of those players are locked up on team-friendly deals. This kept Miami from losing any major talent from the 2020 season, and they should be in pretty decent shape entering 2021.
Right-handed pitcher Jose Urena is no longer with the team after choosing free agency, and that will force other players to step up in the rotation. Urena was once the ace of this staff, but he had started to decline.
The overall numbers were not good but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Miami was able to find some dominant arms at the top of the rotation, and those key pieces are back with the team.
Miami had a team ERA of 4.86 in 2020, but the bullpen struggled to shut down games and protect leads. The starting rotation should be a strength in 2021 and a strength in the coming seasons.
Pablo Lopez led the team with six wins a season ago, and Sandy Alcantara also had a solid season. The real ace could become Sixto Sanchez as he has a full complement of pitches that can shut down another team.
Miami Marlins Offense
The Miami Marlins had a team batting average of .244 a season ago, which was right around league average. Miami hit just 60 home runs, which was near the bottom of the league in 2020.
Third baseman Brian Andrson led the team with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in, and he will be a key bat in the lineup again this season. Miami doesn’t have a ton of depth, but they do have a chance to have a solid offense on the field.
One thing that Miami does have is some team speed, and they can look to generate some offense by being aggressive on the basepaths.
3 Key Players
If the 2021 Miami Marlins are going to duplicate the success from a season ago, then they are going to need the entire roster to play well. Besides that, Miami also has three key players that can help push this team to the next level.
Miami shocked the baseball world at the Trade Deadline a season ago, landing Starling Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The centerfielder is the new face of the franchise in Miami and should have another solid season near the top of the lineup.
Duvall comes to the Miami Marlins after a solid season with the Atlanta Braves. Duvall hit 13 home runs a season ago, and he will provide plenty of power in the middle of the lineup. The Marlins will use Duvall in both corner outfield positions, and he is expected to be in the lineup most of the time.
Sanchez burst onto the scene in 2020, and he could be in for a monster 2021 season. Sanchez has one of the best arms in baseball, and he showed the ability to completely shut down opposing teams.
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The Miami Marlins will face teams from the American League East this season in interleague play, which will add some difficulty to the schedule. BetUS currently has the over/under for regular-season wins set at just 73.5 for the Miami Marlins.
Despite being a playoff team a season ago, the Marlins are just +1600 to win the National League East. Miami has odds set at +5000 to win the 2021 World Series, making them a long shot.
The Miami Marlins were able to turn some heads in 2020, but they won’t be able to sneak up on opposing teams this season.