Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs - 6/23/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs (47-22) at Miami Marlins (38-34)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm (Marlins Park)
J Lester (9-3) (2.06) vs. W Chen (4-2) (5.22)
The Line: Miami Marlins +156 / Chicago Cubs -166 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSFL, CSCh
On Thursday in MLB action from Marlins Park, the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Marlins will be kicking off their weekend series.
The Cubs are coming off a short series against the Cardinals. Chicago dropped the first two games by a combined two runs, and in Wednesday’s finale the Cubs were swept with a 7-2 result.
Meanwhile, the Marlins played a couple of games against the Braves this week. Miami lost game one 3-2, and on Wednesday the Marlins got a little revenge with a 3-0 win.
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For Thursday’s game, the Cubs will be bringing out lefty Jon Lester. In his 14 starts and 9-3 mark this year, Lester has managed a nice 2.06 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP in 91.2 innings. In his last start Saturday against the Pirates, Lester posted six innings with seven hits and three earned for a victory.
At the plate, the Cubs have no shortage of talent. Leading the way is Ben Zobrist with 73 hits, 48 runs and 41 RBI. Kris Bryant has hit 71 times with 42 runs, 17 homers and 48 RBI. Zobrist and Bryant combined to go 0-for-6 on Wednesday. Dexter Fowler holds 69 hits, 41 runs and 28 RBI.
Over on the Marlins’ side, we’ll be seeing left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the mound Thursday. In his 14 starts and 4-2 record this year, Chen has managed a 5.22 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP in 79.1 innings. In his most recent start Saturday against the Rockies, Chen gave up six runs on seven hits in just 2.1 innings for a no-decision.
The Marlins’ batting order has a great collection of well-rounded hitters. Martin Prado leads the way with 85 hits, 31 runs and 22 RBI. Marcel Ozuna has hit 86 times with 45 runs, 15 homers and 43 RBI. Ozuna bagged two hits and a run on Wednesday. Christian Yelich has 74 hits to his credit this year, along with 32 runs and 35 RBI.
The Cubs are 17-4 in their last 21 Thursday games, and 20-7 in their last 27 game ones of a series. Chicago is also 5-1 in Lester’s last six road starts, and 5-0 in Lester’s last five starts overall.
As for the Marlins, they’re 7-0 in their last seven Thursday games, and 4-1 in their last five against the National League Central. Miami is also 4-0 in Chen’s last four starts in game one of a series, and 5-0 in Chen’s last five home starts.
I can’t pick against Lester and the Cubs here, but the game may be closer than many people believe. I’ll take Chicago in game one.