Jeffrey Loria is optimistic

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The Marlins are eight and a half games out and have a run differential of -66. Still, their owner, as he usually does, claims that this is a playoff team and that the future is bright, bright bright:

“School is now out, the [Heat’s] championship is accomplished, and we have a spectacular team — I still believe that, and I love our chances. The Dolphins don’t play significant games until the fall. We’re going to play our significant games in August and September, and by that time people will be so in love with us they won’t want to go anywhere else! … It’s a playoff-caliber team, absolutely. We’re going to have our run.”

The stuff about school being out and people wanting to go to Marlins games instead of Dolphins games, you’ll notice, is more geared toward how the team will do at the ticket office than it is in the standings. Which is pretty par for the course for the bottom-line-first Loria.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.