MLB Playoffs 2023: Young and hungry Marlins face a battle tested Phillies team

The Miami Marlins might be ahead schedule as a MLB Playoff team but they are more than to challenge the Philadelphia Philles in the wild card round. The Phils are trying to make it back to the World Series — they lost to the Astros last year — and have a deep lineup with Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos and Trea Turner

The Phillies went 90-72 and won’t have a first-round bye, but they’re still in the top five heading into the playoffs. This is because they’re playing well, of course, but it’s also impossible to ignore how fantastic this team was last postseason … and it’s mostly the same guys.

The skinny: The Marlins have been an under-the-radar success story and dealt with a weather mess in New York during some of the most important games of the wild-card race. Luis Arraez won the NL batting title with a .354 mark while Jesus Luzardo and Braxton Garrett are at the top of the rotation with ace Sandy Alcantara sidelined for the rest of the year by an elbow injury.

The Marlins’ postseason drought only feels longer than the D-backs, probably because the only time they’ve made the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003 was the expanded postseason of 2020. It’s worth remembering they won the Wild Card series over the Cubs (a team they keep tormenting) before falling in the NLDS against the Braves. In a sign of just how much rosters turn over these days, only three Marlins who played in that series — Jazz Chisholm Jr., Sandy Alcantara (who is hurt) and Jon Berti — are still on the team. They’ll face their division rivals in Philadelphia … where it is going to be very, very loud.