Marlins vs. Cubs Game 2 Betting Odds, Pick and Preview (Oct. 2)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Yu Darvish
- The Chicago Cubs are big favorites over the Miami Marlins in Game 2 of their best-of-3 series.
- Chicago will turn to Yu Darvish in the must-win game on Friday and Mike Vitanza is confident that Darvish, along with Sixto Sanchez, can pitch well enough to make the Under a good play.
Note: Thursday’s Marlins vs. Cubs Game 2 has been postponed due to weather. It will be played Friday at 2:08 p.m. ET, unless both the Dodgers and Cardinals win, in which case it will be moved to 7:08 p.m. ET.
Marlins vs. Cubs Game 2 Odds
|Marlins Odds||+170 [Bet Now]|
|Cubs Odds||-200 [Bet Now in Illinois!]|
|Over/Under||TBD [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||Friday, 2:08 p.m. ET|
Prior to Thursday’s postponement, the Miami Marlins took Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series on Tuesday with a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
They were paced with strong offensive performances by Jesus Aguilar and Corey Dickerson, who combined to drive in all five runs. Aguilar went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in, while Dickerson added a big three-run home run to give the Marlins a lead that would never be vanquished.
The Cubs, meanwhile, continued their struggles at the plate. They managed just four hits on the game, one of which was a solo home run by Ian Happ that accounted for their only run. Happ was the lone bright spot, going 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot.
Game 2 will feature a matchup between Cubs ace Yu Darvish and Marlins rookie Sixto Sanchez.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
Sixto Sanchez’s 3.50 FIP and 0.69 HR/9 during his rookie season were solid, but they don’t tell the whole story. He started the season off very strong, pitching to a 1.29 ERA over his first five starts. His last two, however, did not go the same way. Over that span, Sanchez pitched just seven total innings, allowing nine earned runs on twelve hits while striking out just four.
The 2020 Cubs are not the most imposing matchup, particularly when compared against Cubs teams of the past. They were just league average against right-handed pitching during the regular season, hitting to a .319 wOBA and 105 wRC+. They’ve also been struggling recently, averaging just 3.4 runs per game over their final ten games, and managed just one run yesterday afternoon.
The Chicago Cubs will have a chance to even the series with ace Yu Darvish on the mound for Game 2. Darvish had the best season of his career in 2020, pitching to a phenomenal 2.23 FIP while allowing just 0.59 HR/9 and striking out batters at a 11.01 K/9 rate. The biggest change between 2019 to 2020 was the increased usage of a cutter and curveball this season.
In 2020, Darvish threw his cutter 40% of the time (up from 34% a season ago) and used his curveball 12% of the time (up from 7%). As result, his fastball usage decreased from 35% to 25%. The outcome was a decrease in his Barrel percentage from 7.6% to 6.4%, bringing his home run rate down substantially from the 1.7 HR/9 he averaged a season ago.
The Marlins, meanwhile, were one of the worst teams in baseball against right-handed pitching, hitting to a .298 wOBA in such matchups during the regular season. Their 25.1% strikeout rate was also in the bottom third in all of baseball.
The Cubs once again have the substantial edge in Game 2 from both a pitching and hitting perspective. Vegas agrees — the Cubs -200 moneyline is reflective of just that.
But while I fully expect them to win Game 2, their recent struggles offensively give me enough pause to avoid betting them at the current line.
If the Marlins get out to an early lead, I’ll look to the live line and likely place a wager on the Cubs. Otherwise, I’m staying away from the moneyline.
As for the total, which has not been released at the time of writing, I’ll be looking at the under if the number opens at 7.5 or above, provided the wind — which is likely the reason for the delayed release — doesn’t shift outward (it’s currently forecasted left-to-right).
The PICKS: Cubs Live ML (if available at plus-money within the first 3 innings), Under (if 7.5 or higher)