MLB Picks: Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins Wild Card 9/30/20
Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Marlins (31-29) at Chicago Cubs (34-26)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 2:08 pm (Wrigley Field)
Sandy Alcantara (3-2) (3.00) vs. Kyle Hendricks (6-5) (2.88)
The Line: Chicago Cubs -170 / Miami Marlins +150 --- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs meet Wednesday in MLB Postseason action from Wrigley Field.
This will be the Game 1 in a best-of-three MLB Wild Card Round series in the National League playoffs. The Marlins finished the 2020 season at 31-29 overall, and 4.0 games behind Atlanta in the NL East. As for the Cubs, they went 34-26 this season, earning the National League Central title. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Miami is back in the postseason after a 105-loss season last year, which is pretty remarkable when you think about it. The Marlins offense has been pretty steady in 2020 and had a big impact on the team’s return to the playoffs. Brian Anderson led the team with 11 homers, 38 RBI and 27 runs during the regular season, and Jesus Aguilar added eight homers, 34 RBI, 31 runs and a .277 batting average. Miguel Rojas also had a nice season at the plate with a .304 average, 10 doubles, four homers and 20 RBI.
In the Wednesday starting pitcher role, the Marlins will send Sandy Alcantara to the mound. In seven starts this season, Alcantara posted a 3-2 record with a 3.00 ERA and 39 Ks in 42.0 innings. Over his MLB career, Alcantara is 11-19 with a 3.71 ERA and 230 Ks in 281.2 innings of work.
Over on the Cubs’ side, they had a good season themselves, leading the division pretty much wire to wire and never dropping below the .500 mark. The Chicago offense was all over the place in 2020, but it’s not hard to pick out the key bats in the lineup. Ian Happ led the Cubs with 12 homers, 28 RBI, 27 runs and a .258 batting average. Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo each had 11 homers and 24 RBI, but the BAs (.222 for Rizzo and .188 for Schwarber) certainly left something to be desired.
For Wednesday’s game one starting pitcher role, Chicago is sending out Kyle Hendricks. In 12 starts this season, Hendricks went 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA and 64 Ks in 81.1 innings. In his postseason career, Hendricks is 2-3 with a 2.98 ERA and 48 Ks in 51.1 innings.
The Marlins are 4-1 in their last five playoff road games and 7-2 in their last nine playoff games. Miami is 6-2 in the last eight playoff games as an underdog and 10-26 in the last 36 Wednesday games.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 22-6 in their last 28 during game one of a series and 9-3 in their last 12 games after an off day. Chicago is 1-4 in their last five playoff home games and 10-4 in their last 14 playoff home games as a favorite.
Pick: I’m going to stick with the Cubs here. Chicago has certainly been uneven this year to say the least, but the team has done well overall in a competitive division. Hendricks being on the mound is a nice lift for the Cubs as well. Over his last five starts, Hendricks is 3-1 and has given up a total of just six earned runs. If Chicago can find a few runs in this one, I think they’ve got a good shot at an opener win.