Marlins vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Offenses Should Be Suppressed at Wrigley Field (Friday, August 5)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Steele
Marlins vs. Cubs Odds
|Time||2:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
We have the first matchup of this three-game series with the NL Central‘s Chicago Cubs hosting the NL East‘s Miami Marlins. This meeting is the first game between these two clubs this season.
Will Chicago take care of business as a short home favorite, or can the Marlins pull off the road upset?
Marlins Get Cabrera Back
The Miami Marlins enter this series amidst a stretch of low-scoring contests as there have been seven or fewer total runs scored in four of their last five games (80%). After being activated from the injured list on Thursday, right-hander Edward Cabrera is slated to make his first start for the Marlins since June 12.
On that day, Cabrera got shelled by the Astros, allowing five earned runs on seven hits through 3 2/3 innings. Joining a long list of pitchers to get smacked around against Houston this season, we may be getting a very generous number on the Marlins and the total in this game due to that bad outing.
Looking at Cabrera’s two previous starts against offenses much more comparable to the Cubs, Cabrera looked outstanding as he allowed just one earned run on three hits in 12 innings. Following Cabrera is a serviceable bullpen.
Since July 1, the Marlins’ relief pitching ranks 11th in the league in ERA and first in hard hit percentage. The one concern I have about the Marlins in this game is their offense, which has been in particularly poor form recently and has struggled against left-handed pitching.
When facing left-handers, the Marlins rank just 28th in the league in BA, 28th in SLG, 29th in OPS, 30th in wOBA, and 22nd in hard hit percentage since the beginning of July.
Steele Solid For Cubs
Projected to start for the Cubs today is left-hander Justin Steele. Through 19 starts this season, Steele is 4-7 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.
Steele’s metrics suggest that regression should not be an issue, boasting a .302 xwOBA, .244 xBA and .340 xSLG. Entering this contest in great form, Steele is 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA and 1.38 WHIP over his last five starts.
While Steele’s biggest flaw is his tendency to walk opposing hitters, this issue should be thrown out against a Marlins team that ranks just 29th in the league in walk percentage since July 1.
Since July 1, the Cubs’ relief pitching ranks first in the league in ERA, seventh in BA, seventh in SLG and seventh in hard hit percentage. The only concern is that they traded three of their best relievers at the deadline, but have still proven to be competent and deep in the bullpen even without David Robertson, Scott Effross and Mychal Givens.
When facing right-handed pitchers, Chicago ranks just 20th in the league in BA, 25th in SLG, 24th in OPS, 23rd in wOBA and 20th in hard hit percentage. Because of this poor offensive display, there have now been seven or fewer total runs scored in eight of Chicago’s last 10 games.
We should expect these low-scoring trends to continue in this game. Cabrera has looked very sharp in his limited sample size this season when not facing the Astros, while Steele continues to provide strong outings for Chicago.
Each bullpen is above-average and should hopefully not blow the under for us, assuming Cabrera and Steele do their jobs. With how poor each of these two offenses has been, Cabrera and Steele should not be tested much.
Those who have been to Wrigley Field know how strong that wind can get inside, which also gives us a boost for the under as it is blowing in today.
Pick: Marlins/Cubs u7.5 (-110) | Play up to (-125)
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