MLB Power Rankings: Keep an eye on the sneaky Marlins

[MUSIC PLAYING] TIM BROWN: Granted, the Miami Marlins can be a little goofy, a little odd at times, perhaps unlikable, taken as a top-down whole. Even when they’re sincere, the crooked smile and lingering handshake say, I might just be pulling something over on you. Their past says, I probably am. So advance at your own risk. But coming up on 100 games into the season, the Marlins have played just well enough, just often enough, to come in at 10th in the latest Yahoo Sports Power Rankings. 10th isn’t first. They don’t lead a division. They don’t hit much, not with Giancarlo Stanton operating at less than full capacity for a few months, and Dee Gordon, their batting champion, missing for 80 games. The starting pitching after Jose Fernandez has been just so-so, the bullpen slightly better. All in all, the Marlins are a slightly above-average team rooting around with the other slightly above-average teams in the National League Wild Card race. They seem at least good enough to put a scare into the New York Mets, though, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the St. Louis Cardinals, and anyone else being run off in their own division. The difference being none of these teams has Stanton, who routinely produces better in the second half than the first. And none will add a batting champion next week, though it should be said, no one knows what impact the drug suspension will have on Gordon, including what kind of player he is going forward. So this odd mix of owner Jeffrey Loria, and manager Don Mattingly, and hitting coach Barry Bonds, and everything else that comes with the Marlins, is at least relevant while coming up on August, which counts as progress. The Marlins haven’t been a winner since 2009. They haven’t played a postseason game since 2003. But here they are. And now it’s up to you to interpret the crooked smile and the lingering handshake.

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