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Series Preview: Marlins (26-27) at Brewers (29-24)

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Given the way the NL East gets reported in the news--it's the Mets, the Braves, and the scrubs--I thought the Marlins were playing worse baseball than they actually are.  They probably aren't contenders this year, but they are close to .500, and their run differential supports that.  They haven't gotten the miraculous young pitching surprises that they did last year, but they are a decent team.

Your matchups for the series are:

I saw a conversation on BrewerFan.net a few weeks ago comparing the current Brewers team with the assorted ex-Brewers scattered around the majors.  Someone noted that the ex-Brewers wouldn't stand a chance (which stands to reason, because we kept the few good players and ditched all the guys who helped us lose 90-100 games per year).  That's all the more clear when you think about the fact that in 2004, Obie got twenty starts for us.  Twenty!  We didn't have anybody better than Wes Obermueller to turn to for four months!  Now, he'd be about #9 on the depth chart, and thank heavens for that.  (Yes, I realize I'm tempting fate into giving us an Obie shutout.  I think it's worth the risk.)

One way in which the Marlins are not halfway decent is their defense: they're on a record-setting pace.  It's no secret that Miguel Cabrera is not a good third baseman.  That's one reason I was a bit bearish on his Hall of Fame chances a while back: he'll end up at a less demanding position very soon.  But that isn't to take away a thing from his (or Hanley Ramirez's) offensive capabilities.  Balancing out those defensive limitations are four starters with OBPs at .385 or higher.  

As Grinder points out, it gets easier from here.    The Marlins are actually better than most of the teams in the NL Central, but that doesn't mean we can't kick off June with a reminder to the rest of baseball that the Brewers are headed to the postseason.