Houston Astros vs. Miami Marlins: Who is the Worst Team in Baseball?


Both the Houston Astros and the Miami Marlins are having rough seasons this year.  They’ve combined for a total of 35 wins (not even good enough for first place in every division) and 78 losses.

Of these two teams, who would you rather have your favorite team face?  If you’re a fan of either Houston or Miami, who will save some semblance of pride in knowing they don’t have the worst team in baseball?

Well, sorry Miami fans, but the Marlins are currently the worst team in Major League Baseball.  The following are the reasons why.

They have the worst record in baseball

May 28, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Ryan Webb (58) talks with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez (55) and catcher Jeff Mathis (6) during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of those 35 wins between the two teams, Miami only accounts for 16 of them.  These 16 wins include the three-game sweep of the New York Mets.  Before this series, Miami had a nine-game losing streak.   The New York Mets are the only team that Miami has been able to win a series against, and the Mets have had their share of struggles this season.  The Mets started the season strong at 7-4 their first 11 games but have since then had their record slide to 22-32.

Houston, on the other hand, has won slightly more games — 19 to be exact.  Houston is also fresh off a sweep, theirs being against the L.A. Angels.  Now, to be fair, the Angels have their fair share of struggles as well this season. However, unlike the Mets, LA started off slowly and has moved their way up to third place in the AL West.  Houston is currently on a five-game winning streak, and most of Houston’s wins came together, unlike the mostly sporadic Miami wins.

Why are wins that are clumped together important?  Houston has been able to win a few more series than Miami has, which makes them more dangerous to other teams.  So far, Houston has won two series’ against Seattle, a series against Kansas City, a series against Colorado, and two series’ against Los Angeles.  If you’re playing against one of these two teams, you’re more likely to drop multiple games to Houston than you are to Miami.

The Miami Marlins have some of the worst stats in baseball

When it comes to offensive statistics for all major league ball clubs, the Miami Marlins come in last in many categories, including batting average, runs scored, and on-base percentage.  They are .224, .160, and .284 respectively.  Miami’s pitching statistics are markedly better than Houston’s, whose stats make the Astros bullpen the worst in the majors.  Miami’s average ERA is 4.04, while Houston’s average ERA is 5.14.

June 1, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris (20) pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to hitting, Miami is the worst team in baseball, but when it comes to pitching, Houston is the worst.  Which would I rather face as an opposing team?  I would rather face the worst hitting, and here is why.  Houston does have a decent pitcher in Bud Norris.  His record is currently 5-4 and he has a 3.39 ERA.

They also have Jose Veras who has 10 saves and 27 strikeouts.  So while the bullpen as a whole is the worst in the game, there are a few productive players within it.  For Miami’s hitting, the player who qualifies as having the highest batting average, Placido Polanco, is batting .234.

There are players with better averages who haven’t played as many games, like Chris Coghlan, who is batting .297 and has played a decent number of games (but not enough). According to ESPN’s website, qualifying for the title requires 3.1 plate appearances per team game.

Batting-wise, there is good news if you’re a Marlins fan.  Recent addition Ed Lucas is doing great at the plate.  In his three games, he has batted .625.  This includes going 4-for-4 at the plate against the New York Mets.  While it’s a given that he won’t keep up a .625 batting average, he could continue to be a presence at the plate, which is something Miami desperately needs from more people.

Another reason I’d rather face a team with the worst hitters than the worst bullpen is because in both instances of the Marlins and Astros, not everyone is “terrible.” The thing is, though, you need to score runs in Major League Baseball to win, and it usually takes a team effort to score runs.  Someone needs to get on base and someone needs to hit them in (except in the case of home runs).  For pitching, however, a good outing by one pitcher can result in a win.

Now, to be fair, the Angels have their fair share of struggles as well this season. However, unlike the Mets, LA started off slowly and has moved their way up to third place in the AL West.