Thursday, October 1, 2020, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, 2:08 p.m. ET
Marlins at Cubs Betting Preview: Marlins (+164), Cubs (-178)
So much for the worries about lack of playoff experience. The Marlins looked like old, seasoned pros in their first playoff game in 17 years Wednesday, using a five-run seventh inning to dump the Cubs 5-1 and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Sandy Alcantara checked Chicago on three hits over 6 2/3 innings for the win, and Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar slugged three-run and two-run homers, respectively, in the seventh. Miami can move into the National League Division Series with one more win.
Rookie Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA) takes the ball for the Marlins, aiming to bounce back after allowing nine runs in seven innings over his last two starts. He will be opposing the Cubs for the first time in his career.
Inconsistent offense has been a source of worry all year for the Cubs, and it cropped up again in Game 1 of the wild-card series. After scoring 25 runs in their weekend series with the White Sox, the Cubs were back to flailing and failing under the harsh postseason glare.
Ian Happ’s solo shot in the fifth was the only meaningful hit for Chicago, which had just four hits in all. The Nos. 2-4 hitters in the lineup were a combined 0-for-10 with two walks, with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant going 0-for-8 with three whiffs.
Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA) gets the call with his team’s season on the line. Darvish is coming off seven shutout innings Friday night in a 10-0 win at the White Sox. However, he owns 6.08 ERA in five career outings against the Marlins, and his postseason record is unimpressive: 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA in six starts.
Marlins at Cubs Betting Pick for Game 2
The benefits of playing with no pressure were evident for the Marlins on Wednesday, when they blew open a pitchers’ duel with some unexpected power to push the Cubs to the brink of elimination.
As for Chicago, it’s all hands on deck in a win-or-die situation. The Cubs have their best pitcher on the mound, although Darvish hasn’t been known for coming up big in the playoffs. But this Darvish has refined his seven-pitch arsenal, and on a day that is expected to be pitcher-friendly, he helps the Cubs force a Game 3 on Friday.
Marlins at Cubs Betting Pick:
Cubs 3, Marlins 2
Marlins at Cubs Best Bet for Game 2
While the over was the way to go in the regular season for a variety of reasons, playing the under is a safe call here. Both teams are using strikeout pitchers against punchout-prone offenses on what’s supposed to be a damp day with the wind blowing in.
Marlins at Cubs Best Bet: UNDER (total runs and odds TBA)
–Field Level Media