A euphoria surrounds the Marlins at the moment, and why not? They swept the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, maintained their first-place hold in the division, and proved they can hang with the big boys after skeptics scoffed at their soft early schedule.
They're 27-19, which is the second-best record any Marlins team has had at the 46-game mark. By comparison, only three previous Marlins clubs had winning records at this juncture, and each of those teams finished above .500.
Year 46-game Record Final Record (Outcome)
1997 28-18 92-70 (Won WS)
2004 26-20 83-79 (3rd in East)
2005 26-20 83-79 (3rd in East)
But a winning season is not automatic at this point. I examined the previous three seasons and found 21 teams -- exactly seven per year -- that had a record equal to or better than the Marlins' current 27-19 mark at this precise stage. Of those, 17 ended up with winning records and 10 -- not quite half -- reached the playoffs.
Four of the quick starters from 2005-07 went into freefalls and landed below .500. Those teams were the 2005 Diamondbacks (from 27-19 to 77-85), the 2005 Orioles (from 30-16 to 74-88), the 2006 Reds (from 27-19 to 80-82), and the 2006 Diamondbacks (from 27-19 to 76-86).
Anyone wish to take a stab at what the Marlins' final record will be, and why?