Wrigley Field was the unfriendly confines in game one of the 2020 wild card series with Miami taking a 5-1 win over hometown Chicago. Heading into Marlins at Cubs game 2 betting, David Ross is in danger of being swept out of the playoffs in his first season at the helm of the North Siders.
There’s optimism for the Cubs as -208 favorites on Thursday afternoon (2:08 ET, ABC) with Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA) on the mound. The Marlins counter with rookie Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA) who had a good stretch, but struggled mightily in his last two starts of the regular season.
Can Marlins Get to Darvish?
Chicago and Miami did not meet in this shortened 60-game season being in different divisions. The Marlins should have confidence coming into Thursday’s game 2 after getting to Kyle Hendricks for 3ER in the series opener. Hendricks had been especially tough at Wrigley Field, going 4-2 with a 1.85 ERA at home during the regular season.
Can Miami continue their offensive success but now against Darvish in Marlins at Cubs game 2 betting? Darvish was solid at home on the year with a 5-3 record and a 2.57 ERA, but he was unhittable on the road going 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA. Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar led the way for Miami with HRs in game one, and Dickerson is actually 5-13 (.385) with a HR vs. Darvish. Miami hits a combined .213 vs. the Cubs starter in 61 team AB.
The Marlins got a sparkling pitching performance in the opener from Sandy Alcantara who went 6.2 innings giving up just 3 hits. Sixto Sanchez looks to duplicate that in what will be just his 8th career start. No fans in attendance definitely helps the rookie, but Sanchez ended the year in a slump giving up 9ER in 7.0 IP over his last two starts.
Can Darvish Save Cubs’ Season?
Things seem really doom and gloom in the Windy City right now as the Cubs are on the verge of their championship window possibly closing if eliminated by Miami. Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras, and even Theo Epstein in the front office could be gone in the offseason.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Ross in his first year as manager on the North Side. Then again, Wednesday’s loss is just one game. The Cubs finished 1st in the NL Central with a 34-26 record during the regular season, but just can’t hit right now. Chicago has been held to 1 run in 6 of their last 7 playoff games, but did score 25 in a three game series to end the regular season vs. the White Sox.
No Cubs batters have ever faced Marlins starter Sanchez, which probably doesn’t help their offensive woes. It will be up to Darvish to bounce back from allowing 3+ runs in three of his last four regular season starts. On a bright note, Darvish went 7.0 innings allowing just 3 hits in his last outing on Friday.
Marlins at Cubs Game 2 Betting Free Pick
The stat that’s looming large for Chicago is the fact that Darvish has a 2-4 record with a 5.81 ERA in six career postseason starts. That’s not even mentioning his 6.08 ERA in five outings vs. the Marlins because this is largely a different Miami team.
Darvish is either going to be great on Thursday, or the Cubs’ season is over. Chicago needs to build on the fact that the Marlins’ Sanchez allowed 9 ER over his last two starts while striking out just 4 hitters. Chicago finds themselves on a dreary, chilly day in the Windy City.
Cubs 7 Marlins 2
Free Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+105)