The Miami Marlins are in the same spot they were a year ago; wondering what it will take to win games consistently without star masher, Giancarlo Stanton.

Big Loss

The team learned this week that their best power hitter would need to be shut down for the remainder of the 2016 MLB season, thanks to a a groin injury that turned out to be much more serious than originally thought. Stanton injured his groin late this past Saturday and was immediately placed on Miami’s 15-day disabled list.

Stanton did not initially have a clear time table for return, but the team learned quickly following an MRI that his injury would knock him out for the rest of the year. It’s a big loss for Miami, as Stanton had been heating up over the past month and had churned out 25 home runs and 70 RBI on the season.

Realistic Contenders

Unlike dealing with Giancarlo Stanton’s injury a season ago, this time the Marlins have more than some pride to lose, as they’re still currently in the running for a NL playoff spot.

At 61-56, the Marlins stand atop the New York Mets in the NL East and are still 8.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. Catching the Nats even with a healthy Stanton always felt unrealistic, but the team was still within reach of the NL wild card spot, which the Los Angeles Dodgers currently hold with a mild four-game lead.

Replacing Stanton

Losing Stanton is massive on paper, but there is still hope the Marlins can overcome the huge loss and continue their solid play. Miami still has a very balanced unit, with a defense paced by elite pitching ace, Jose Fernandez. With some other arms such as Tom Koehler, Adam Conley and even David Phelps stepping up over the past few weeks, there is optimism Miami’s defense can help get them closer to the Dodgers in the wild card race.

Miami will undoubtedly need someone to step up and continue Stanton’s ability to power in runs, however, and that’s where the Marlins probably aren’t exactly sure of what to do at the moment.

There had been some speculation surrounding a potential union with former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, but it doesn’t look like a deal will be coming to fruition.

Still, Miami may need to make a play, both to secure another fielding option and also help fill Stanton’s shoes offensively. Doing so completely is next to impossible, but Miami could slowly slip out of the playoff race if they can’t find an answer for the massive loss.

World Series Odds

Miami continues to be a weak World Series bets (+3300 odds), but their chances should dip even more in the coming weeks. Should their odds dip and they remain competitive, they could quickly become a sneaky bet to go the distance. That being said, Miami for now loses a major power hitter and is much more likely to gradually fall out of the mix for the NL wild card spot.

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