Marlins Magic Number: What does Miami need to clinch a playoff berth

The Miami Marlins are edging closer to securing a postseason berth, with their magic number rapidly dwindling, and they stand on the edge of clinching in the midst of a highly competitive playoff race.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets - Game Two
Miami Marlins v New York Mets - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages

After beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the three-part series, the Miami Marlins' magic number is only one. They could clinch Saturday if they win or the Cubs and Reds lose.

The Marlins have completely emerged as a playoff team, surprising many. They knew the management they needed to make it, and you have to congratulate manager Skip Schumaker and GM Kim Ng, who made some amazing trades this offseason.

According to FanGraphs' playoff odds, the Marlins now have a 90.9 percent chance to clinch the postseason, and they are favored to win the third wild card, which would knock the Reds and Cubs out, who have a combined 14.6 percent chance to make it.

Marlins Magic Number: Miami needs one win to make the playoffs

The Marlins deserve a postseason spot, as they’ve been a magical team in 2023. Teams must win the close one-run games, and the Cubs have dominated in one-run games with a record of 33-13, which is better than even the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles.

The Marlins have a record of 82-76-1, with the tie still being a playable game if they don’t clinch versus the Pirates. This record is misleading because they should be performing much, much worse, but they’ve been able to win games they should have lost.

Pythagorean Win-Loss is an estimate of how many wins and losses you should have. It says the Marlins should have a record of 73-85, but they’ve been winning in all the close games and have shocked everyone.

The Marlins have a run differential of negative 57 runs, meaning they give up more runs than they score at 659 scored and 716 given up. They have been a magical team in 2023 and have defied all odds and have refused to lose.

In the 2022 offseason, they acquired players like Yuli Gurriel and Luis Arraez who have played a major part in the team winning, while the season prior they acquired Jorge Soler from the free-agent market, and he has been one of their best hitters with 36 home runs and 74 RBIs.

The Marlins didn’t just sign and trade during the offseason, they traded for some amazing players at the 2023 trade deadline in Jake Burger and Josh Bell, who have been essential to putting them in the current position they’re in. They’ve also been good at developing pitching in-house that has made a huge factor in their success.

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