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Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins Wild Card Series Game 1 preview, Wednesday 9/30, 1:08 CT

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The postseason is here! A look at today's Cubs game, plus info on the other early afternoon contests.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

You might remember some of the promotional things Kris Bryant has done with Red Bull. We’ve covered a number of those promotions. Among them: KB hitting baseballs into the Chicago River, KB posing as a pizza delivery driver, KB teaming up with Sluggers for a new batting cage.

Why am I telling you this today?

Because the Red Bull folks were kind enough to give me a rooftop ticket for today’s game. It’s on this rooftop, one of the few not owned by the Ricketts family. They’re limiting capacity and following all CDC mask and social distancing guidelines. I’ll try to tweet some photos from there and will have a separate article on my experience there tomorrow.

There is a slight chance of showers this afternoon, so here’s the local radar for you:

The bigger issue this afternoon will be a strong wind gusting out to right field:

Notes for today:

  • TOP OF THE HEAP: The Cubs were in first place all but one day of the regular season (following games of July 25 with a 1-1 record) and had sole possession of first place every day following play on July 26 through season’s end.
  • GAME 1, NOT SO GREAT: The Cubs own a 9-16-1 all-time record in first games of postseason rounds. But, since 2003, the last four times the Cubs have won Game 1 of a round featuring multiple games, the team has advanced.
  • THE PROFESSOR IN HIS HOUSE: Kyle Hendricks has posted a 1.98 ERA (30 earned runs in 136⅓ innings) in 20 starts at Wrigley Field since the start of 2019. That’s the third-lowest home ERA in the majors in that span, trailing only Mike Clevinger (1.95) and Hyun Jin Ryu (1.97). More on Kyle below.
  • GET THOSE BATS GOING: Cubs hitters posted a .231/.321/.414 road slash line in 27 games compared to a .210/.315/.354 slash line in 33 home games. The .210 home batting average and .354 home slugging mark were both lowest in the majors.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Marlins lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Sandy Alcantara, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks had a terrific September: five starts, 37⅓ innings, 1.45 ERA, 0.884 WHIP, just four walks and 30 strikeouts.

He also had an excellent season pitching at Wrigley Field: six starts, 43⅔ innings, 1.85 ERA, 0.756 WHIP, just three walks and 34 strikeouts.

His last start against the Marlins was May 8, 2019 at Wrigley and he threw eight innings, allowing five hits and an unearned run, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Current members of the Marlins are hitting .220 (18-for-82) against Kyle with no home runs.

Sounds like a recipe for victory.

Sandy Alcantara missed part of this season, as did a number of Marlins, on the COVID-19 list. He threw well after his return, with a 3.00 ERA and 1.190 WHIP in seven starts.

He made two starts against the Cubs last year and had a 6.55 ERA and 1.636 WHIP in 11 total innings. No current Cub has more than eight at-bats against him; that’s Javier Baez, who’s 3-for-8, and this would be a great time for Javy to come out of his season-long slump. Anthony Rizzo homered off him last May 6 at Wrigley.

Today’s game is on ABC-7 Chicago (and other ABC affiliates nationwide). Announcers: Jon Sciambi, Chipper Jones and Jesse Rogers.

Radio broadcasts: 670 The Score, Sirius XM radio (click for channel), Cubs radio affiliates

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes. If you do go there to interact with Marlins fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

Since there will be several other games going on late this morning and while the Cubs game is in progress, here are the details for all games that start up to 3 p.m. CT this afternoon. A second thread for games that start at 4 p.m. CT or later will post at that time and you can use that thread for discussing those three games. A recap of the Cubs/Marlins game should be posted within an hour or so after the end of the game.

Here’s all the information you’ll need for the four American League wild-card series Game 1 contests this afternoon.

Reds at Braves, 11 a.m. CT

Trevor Bauer, RHP vs. Max Fried, LHP

TV: ESPN. Announcers: Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Buster Olney

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Astros at Twins, 12 noon CT

Jose Urquidy, RHP vs. Jose Berrios, RHP

TV: ESPN. Announcers: Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

White Sox at Athletics, 2 p.m. CT

Dallas Keuchel, LHP vs. Chris Bassitt, RHP

TV: ESPN. Announcers: Dave Flemming and Jessica Mendoza

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Blue Jays at Rays, 3 p.m. CT

Hyun Jin Ryu, LHP vs. Tyler Glasnow, RHP

TV: TBS. Announcers: Rich Waltz & Jimmy Rollins

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

The 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.