Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs – MLB, October 1, 2020
The Miami Marlins haven’t been in the playoffs since 2003, but the two-time World Series champions have never lost the playoff series either. Last night, the Marlins marked their postseason return with a 5-1 road victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series.
Now, the Marlins are one win away from the NLDS, while the Cubs desperately need to bounce back, facing an early elimination as the No. 3 seed. We’ll see a great battle in Game 2 on Thursday, October 1, so here’s my best Marlins vs. Cubs betting pick.
Marlins vs. Cubs Odds
|Marlins to Win||+166|
|Cubs to Win||-180|
The Marlins won the opener as +150 underdogs, and I think the bookies are underestimating them, although the Cubs have a home-field advantage.
Let’s make this clear. I was first backing the Marlins to finish bottom of the NL East. However, this Miami team fought bravely in the regular season and went 31-29. The Marlins fully deserved their place in the postseason, as well as the 34-26 Chicago Cubs.
Marlins vs. Cubs Preview
The Cubs scored first last night, but the Marlins went off at the top of the seventh inning to clinch the victory. Cory Dickerson clubbed a three-run round-tripper off Kyle Hendricks who finished with 66 of his 106 pitches for strikes.
The Marlins had eight hits, while the Cubs recorded only four. Both these foes have been struggling offensively for most of the regular season, so a low-scoring affair was expected.
The second game of the series should see more of the same, as the Marlins will start one of the top prospects in baseball, the 22-year-old Sixto Sanchez, while the Cubs will send their top ace Yu Darvish to the mound.
Sanchez finished his rookie season with a 3-2 record in seven starts, posting a 3.46 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 33/11 K/BB ratio across 39 innings. The righty had some spectacular displays, but he also faded down the stretch, allowing nine earned runs on 12 hits and six walks over his previous two starts and seven frames of work.
Darvish was 8-3 in 12 starts this past regular season. The 34-year-old righty carries a sparkly 2.01 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 93/14 K/BB ratio into the postseason. He’s 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA in six playoff starts, while Darvish has a 2-1 record with a 6.08 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins.
Yu dominated Miami in 2019, going 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in a couple of starts.
Marlins vs. Cubs Betting Pick
As I’ve mentioned, neither of these two teams can brag with a powerful offense. The Marlins were 20th in runs scored per game in the regular season (4.38), while the Cubs were 19th with 4.42 runs scored per contest.
Miami could miss Starling Marte due to a fractured hand, as the 31-year-old outfielder got hit by a fastball in Game 1. His eventual absence would be a big blow for the Marlins.
Anyway, I expect Yu Darvish to make a key difference and shut down the Marlins’ offense. Also, the Cubs should improve after a terrible display in the opener. Sixto Sanchez is a very talented guy, but he’s still a rookie, and the Cubs have to jump on his balls early.
Cubs to Win-180