Miami Marlins (31-29) at Chicago Cubs (34-26)
MLB Baseball: Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm (Wrigley Field)
Sixto Sanchez (3-2) (3.46) vs. Yu Darvish (8-3) (2.13)
The Line: Chicago Cubs -185 / Miami Marlins +165 --- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs meet Friday afternoon in game two of the National League World Card MLB playoffs at Wrigley Field.
The Miami Marlins have a chance to make the NLDS for the first time since their World Series run in 2003. The Miami Marlins were quiet in their game on victory until they exploded for five runs in the seventh inning. Sandy Alcantara gave the Marlins a strong 6.2 innings and a pair of home runs out of nowhere sealed the deal. Still, the Marlins left nine guys on base, something they must clean up moving forward. Jesus Aguilar leads the Marlins with two hits and two RBI while Starling Marte and Garrett Cooper have combined for three hits. Sixto Sanchez gets the ball, and he was 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA and 33 strikeouts this season. This will be Sanchez’s first career postseason appearance.
The Chicago Cubs need a victory here to save their season and force a game three on Friday. The Chicago Cubs just couldn’t get going offensively and put too much pressure on their pitching staff, as they struck out seven times and got just four hits in 31 at bats. Kyle Hendricks was strong through six frames and things unraveled, but it’s fair to say this Cubs loss was on the offense that just couldn’t provide any real run support. Ian Happ leads the Cubs with two hits and one RBI while Javier Baez and Willson Contreras have combined for two hits. Yu Darvish gets the ball, and he was 8-3 this season with a 2.01 ERA and 93 strikeouts this season. Darvish is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Marlins are 17-38 in their last 55 Thursday games, 25-52 in their last 77 during game 2 of a series and 7-2 in their last 9 playoff games. The Cubs are 10-4 in their last 14 playoff games as a favorite, 2-5 in their last 7 during game 2 of a series and 1-5 in their last 6 playoff games. The under is 5-1 in Marlins last 6 playoff games. The under is 9-3-1 in Cubs last 13 home games. The Marlins are 5-16 in the last 21 meetings in Chicago and 6-18 in the last 24 meetings.
The Chicago Cubs should be favored here, as you can argue Darvish was the best pitcher in the National League this season, and he's allowed just 12 hits and four runs in his last 13 innings. However, Darvish has a spotty postseason career and he's never been great at handling pressure well. Also, Sixto Sanchez is another one of those ace caliber pitchers with absolutely filthy stuff and can miss bats with the best of them. Sanchez hasn't been on point in his last couple of starts, but those games against against NL East teams that saw him before. The Cubs have never faced Sanchez and seeing a pitcher with nasty stuff for the first time is never fun. I backed the Marlins as underdogs and a young ace in game one, and I see no reason not to do the same here.