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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Marlins series preview

The Cubs hit the road to play an NL East opponent.

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Cubs won two of three over the Marlins last month at Wrigley Field. Since then the Cubs are 19-19, while the Marlins have gone 10-28.

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

Perhaps it is flying under the radar, but the Marlins have been the worst team in Major League Baseball since the All-Star break, winning only three series during the second half of the season. It has shockingly put them behind last year’s pace, when they finished at 67-95. A bottom-three MLB record—which is what it takes to secure the highest odds of winning the 2023 draft lottery—is within reach.

Every aspect of the team outside of the starting rotation is to blame. The offense’s main weakness for most of this season was left-handed pitching, but as of late, run production has been equally poor against right-handers. There are no healthy power threats (Bryan De La Cruz leads all active Marlins players with nine home runs). Although the Fish lead the National League with 113 stolen bases, even their baserunning has slumped, making inexcusable outs that swing close games in the wrong direction. Other than Dylan Floro and Steven Okert, their bullpen is untrustworthy, too.

So it’s the rotation that keeps these games tolerable. Edward Cabrera, Pablo López and Jesús Luzardo are lined up to face the Cubs, each of whom have nasty stuff and distinct pitching styles. The outcome of the series will be largely determined by how deep they’re able to pitch into their starts.

Fun fact

The Marlins have one former Cub on their roster, reliever Dylan Floro, who pitched in three games for the Cubs in 2017.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday: Wade Miley, LHP (1-0, 2.89 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, 3.21 FIP) vs. Edward Cabrera, RHP (5-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.083 WHIP, 4.59 FIP)

Tuesday: Adrian Sampson, RHP (2-5, 3.48 ERA, 1.270 WHIP, 3.83 FIP) vs. Pablo Lopez, RHP (9-10, 3.99 ERA, 1.216 WHIP, 3.77 FIP)

Wednesday: Drew Smyly, LHP (7-8, 3.48 ERA, 1.190 WHIP, 4.30 FIP) vs. Jesús Luzardo, LHP (3-7, 3.75 ERA, 1.090 WHIP, 3.36 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Cubs swept their last road series. The Marlins have lost 10 of their last 14 home games. The Cubs won two of three vs. Miami at Wrigley Field, as noted above. Once again, the Cubs avoid facing Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara. Why not two of three here?

Up next

The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh for a four-game series against the Pirates which begins Thursday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Marlins?

  • 9%
    3
    (11 votes)
  • 50%
    2
    (58 votes)
  • 31%
    1
    (36 votes)
  • 9%
    0
    (11 votes)
116 votes total Vote Now