The Miami Marlins will give the ball to rookie pitcher Sixto Sanchez, as they look to close out their NL Wild-Card series with a Game 2 victory at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)
- The Chicago Cubs face elimination when they host the Miami Marlins in Game 2 of their NL Wild-Card series
- Veteran starter Yu Darvish gets the call for the Cubs, while rookie Sixto Sanchez will make his first ever postseason start for Miami
- First pitch is scheduled for 2:08 pm ET at Wrigley Field, with brisk winds and a risk of showers in the weather forecast; see the odds and best bets, below
The Chicago Cubs find themselves in must-win mode as they look to Game 2 of their NL Wild-Card series with the Miami Marlins on Thursday as heavy -180 home favorites in the MLB playoff odds. The Cubs will be aiming to bounce back from a 5-1 loss in Game 1 as Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) takes the mound. The surprising Marlins are expected to counter with rookie phenom Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA, 1.21 WHIP).
It will be an early start once again on Thursday afternoon, with first pitch for Game 2 scheduled for 2:08 PM ET at Wrigley Field. The weather forecast once again calls for gusty winds and a chance of showers at game time.
Marlins vs Cubs Game 2 Odds
|Chicago Cub s||-180||TBD||TBD|
Odds as of Sep. 30th.
Cubs’ Power Outage Continues
The offensive struggles at home that plagued the Cubs down the stretch continued in their 5-1 loss in Game 1. With Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara enjoying yet another impressive outing, Chicago hitters mustered just four total hits, with their lone run coming courtesy of an Ian Happ home run that opened the scoring in the fifth inning.
The Cubs fall to the Marlins in Game 1, 5-1.
⚾️ Kyle Hendricks – 6.1 IP, 3 K, 3 ER, 3 BB
⚾️ Chicago had only four hits as a team. Ian Happ had two of them.
⚾️ Game 2 of the best of three series is tomorrow at 1:08 CT.
— Mark Pearson (@MarkPearsonTV) September 30, 2020
Overall, the Cubs have scored just three total runs in their past four home games, and averaged just 2.71 runs per game while going 7-7 at home since the beginning of September. Bettors taking the UNDER have enjoyed payouts in 10 of those contests, including Wednesday’s loss to Miami. The Cubs desperately need to reverse that trend if they are to rebound in this best-of-three series.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Postseason Gods Still Smiling on Marlins
The Marlins look to close out the series on Thursday as +155 underdogs. With the wind and rain blowing at Wrigley Field, the Marlins endured a slow start in Game 1. Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks gave up just two hits and three walks through the first six innings before getting tagged for three runs during Miami’s five-run seventh inning.
Tough blow for the Marlins. Starling Marte has to leave the game after getting hit in the hand by a pitch. pic.twitter.com/YekjrAYTpR
— Will Manso (@WillManso) September 30, 2020
With a sparkling 6-1 all-time record in potential series-clinching games, the Marlins have rocketed to heavy -210 favorites in the odds to win the series. Miami has also won four of their past five on the road, and sports an overall 21-14 away record this season.
However, injury woes have once again emerged, with outfielder Starling Marte listed as day-to-day after reportedly suffering a broken finger in a ninth inning at-bat on Wednesday afternoon. The veteran Marte has made steady contributions since joining this youthful Marlins squad at the trade deadline, accounting for two of the club’s eight hits in Wednesday’s win.
Sanchez vs Darvish: 2020 Comparison
|5.2||Innings per Start||6.1|
Age vs Youth on the Mound in Game 2
Yu Darvish will make his first postseason start in three years on Thursday afternoon. The Cubs’ ace was simply dominant this season, racking up an NL-leading eight wins, and a second-ranked 2.01 ERA. However, the 34-year-old hit a couple speed bumps in September, going 1-2 over his final four starts, allowing nine earned runs in 26.0 innings during that stretch.
Darvish has also produced mixed results in postseason play. He was lit up in both of his starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2017 World Series, erasing his sterling efforts from earlier in that postseason. He has a 2-4 postseason record in his career.
Yu Darvish Opens Up About Getting Destroyed In The 2017 World Serieshttps://t.co/GMkZKFNr5a pic.twitter.com/G2ZGMTG1I6
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 16, 2019
Conversely, the Marlins will give the ball to rookie sensation Sixto Sanchez in Game 2. The 22-year-old had an immediate impact after joining the Marlins rotation in late August, going 3-2 in seven starts while striking out 33 batters. However, the young right-hander was hit hard in his past two starts, giving up nine total earned runs in just 7.0 innings of work in losses to Atlanta and Washington.
Marlins Offer Value
Experience was supposed to be the difference maker for Chicago entering this series, but it proved to be of little value in Game 1 against a confident Marlins squad led by a young starter demonstrating veteran poise on the mound. The same is true for Game 2, particularly with Marte sidelined and Sanchez facing his first career postseason start on the heels of a pair of tough outings.
But the Marlins have demonstrated resilience all season long, and with a date in the NLDS just one win away, Miami offers value as a +155 bet to close out this matchup on Thursday afternoon.
Pick: Marlins (+155)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.