Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, 2:08 p.m. ET
Marlins at Cubs Betting Preview: Marlins (+155), Cubs (-165)
The Marlins are in the playoffs for the third time in their 28-year existence. The first two times they went (1997 and 2003), they held parades in Miami a couple of days after the World Series ended. Making it 3-for-3 in that regard would be somewhat amazing.
No team made more roster moves or used more players than Miami this year, and some called for the club to be barred for the rest of the year after an early-season COVID-19 outbreak. But the team’s organizational depth, and good young pitching, allowed it to far surpass expectations.
Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00 ERA) gets the ball for Game 1. He logged four quality starts in his five September outings, going 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in the month overall. Alcantara is 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four career games (two starts) against the Cubs.
A fast start to the season enabled the Cubs to overcome inconsistent offense and take the National League Central crown. Several big-name players struggled to get things going in a 60-game season, but the lineup exploded over the final weekend against the White Sox, scoring 25 runs.
Pitching and defense carried this club for most of the year. The rotation was Chicago’s biggest strength, and the bullpen ironed itself out after some early-season difficulties. First-year manager David Ross did solid work guiding the club into the postseason.
Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 2.88 ERA) brings a streak of five consecutive quality starts into the playoff opener, and historically he pitches very well at home. His 2020 WHIP of 1.00 is the second-lowest of his career. Hendricks is 3-1 with a stellar 1.28 ERA in seven career starts vs. Miami.
Marlins at Cubs Betting Pick for September 30, 2020
Playoff experience definitely favors the Cubs. Their core players will be making their fifth postseason appearance in six years. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber know what it takes to shine under the fall spotlight.
As for the Marlins, they are playing with house money at this point, so don’t discount their chances. This might be the best managing job of Don Mattingly’s career, but Wednesday looks like a good spot to lay some money on the Cubs and Hendricks in the Friendly Confines.
Marlins at Cubs Betting Pick:
Cubs 4, Marlins 2
Marlins at Cubs Best Bet for September 30, 2020
Two pitchers at top form are working the opener of a playoff series, each going against an offense with a strikeout rate of 28 percent or more. What’s more, it will be chilly and windy on the North Side of Chicago. This looks like a day to take the under.
Marlins at Cubs Best Bet: UNDER (run total and odds TBA)
–Field Level Media