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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Marlins series preview

The Cubs return home to face an NL East opponent.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

On July 5, the Marlins were 39-40 and on the fringes of contention.

Since then they’ve gone 9-17 and fallen into fourth place in the NL East, saved from last place only by the woeful Nationals.

For more on the Marlins, here’s Ely Sussman, managing editor of our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes:

In the second season of the Kim Ng era and the first with her as the undisputed leader of their baseball operations department, things have not gone swimmingly for the Marlins. A winter of heavy investments in the offense have only incrementally improved Miami’s perpetually poor run production. Their struggles in that area have reached a new low in recent weeks, coinciding with injuries to many of their most impactful position players (most notably All-Star Jazz Chisholm Jr., who is questionable to return to the field this season).

Limping into the trade deadline at 47-56, the hope was that the Marlins would make substantial changes to form a more complementary roster for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Instead, they did the bare minimum—flipping a pair of relievers to buy low on former first-round draft pick Jordan Groshans—giving the fanbase little incentive to watch their remaining games (other than the ones Sandy Alcantara pitches).

Standout hitters from the Marlins Triple-A affiliate have gradually been matriculating to the majors. JJ Bleday, Lewin Díaz and Charles Leblanc are deservedly getting regular playing time to prove themselves. If the Fish are going to win this upcoming road series without Alcantara taking the mound, those youngsters will need to lead the way.

Fun fact

From 2015-19 the Cubs went 13-3 against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Justin Steele, LHP (4-7, 3.86 ERA, 1.429 WHIP, 3.55 FIP) vs. Edward Cabrera, RHP (2-1, 3.45 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, 5.16 FIP)

Saturday: Drew Smyly, LHP (3-6, 4.42 ERA, 1.339 WHIP, 4.73 FIP) vs. Pablo Lopez, RHP (7-6, 3.41 ERA, 1.121 WHIP, 3.60 FIP)

Sunday: Adrian Sampson, RHP (0-2, 3.74 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 3.30 FIP) vs. Jesus Luzardo, LHP (2-4, 3.97 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 3.35 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network (also MLB Network outside the Cubs and Marlins market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Marlins have lost five of their last six and have scored only 12 runs in those six games. It’s time for Cubs pitching to take advantage of that and win two of three this weekend.

Up next

The Cubs host the Washington Nationals in a three-game series at Wrigley Field, beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Marlins?

  • 10%
    3
    (9 votes)
  • 36%
    2
    (33 votes)
  • 37%
    1
    (34 votes)
  • 15%
    0
    (14 votes)
90 votes total Vote Now