Sixto Sanchez (5-3, 3.15 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA)
The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs will try to get Game 2 in on Friday after the matchup was pushed back because of impending rain. They didn’t want to start and then have to pause, then start up again, and possibly have to halt things again. That’s not fair to either team, as there would have been a chance for both teams to have their starting pitchers out of the game early.
While professional sports leagues don’t always make the smart decision, I think that was a good move. The weather is supposed to be nice on Friday, so the only way Sanchez or Darvish get removed from the game early is because of an injury or they’re pitching poorly. Neither pitcher has been taken out of games in the early stages of games in 2020.
Sanchez and Darvish have been in good form this season. It has been a career-season for Darvish. I would have liked to see where his season went with a 162-game sample size, but he’s handled this shortened campaign well. So well that Darvish might be rewarded for it with a National League Cy Young.
The Cubs need Darvish to pitch like a Cy Young favorite on Friday afternoon. If not, they’re going to be in serious danger of leaving the postseason without one win. The Marlins will be going to the bubble in Arlington if that’s the case. That’s assuming that Sixto pitches reasonably well. He was much better earlier on this season, so there could be an opening for the Cubs’ offense after generating nothing on Thursday. They did score a run, but that wasn’t enough in a 5-1 loss.
Is the day off going to positively or negatively impact the pitchers? You could read it one of two ways. First, an extra day off to rest the arm doesn’t hurt. Second, you could also say that it’s a mental thing and a day to sit around and think about the game might hurt. That may be truer for a rookie versus a veteran like Darvish. That aside, though, Darvish has not been great in the postseason in his career. Head below for our free Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs pick for October 2, 2020.
Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs Game 2 Betting Odds:
Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs Prediction:
Yu Darvish has been a force for the Cubs in 2020. He’s largely been inconsistent throughout his career, and has faced his share of critics, but this has been a standout year for him. Who knows what Darvish would have accomplished through 162 games, but I can certainly say that he’s been strong in 12 games.
Darvish registered an ERA of 2.01 and 0.96 WHIP through 76 innings on the bump. The former Dodger and Ranger enters Thursday with a 2.70 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his previous three starts. Darvish was at his best in his final start of the regular season.
He yielded 3 hits and no earned runs in 7 innings of work versus the White Sox. His history against the Marlins has fortunately been good, as they’re hitting just .174 against him in 61 at-bats.
The Cubs could have very well gone with Darvish in Game 1, but they must be feeling a bit lucky that they have him in this must-win situation. The Cubs didn’t lose because of Kyle Hendricks in the first outing.
Sixto Sanchez is expected to have a strong career in his future, and he’s already been showing glimpses of his ability. Sixto was awarded the Rookie of the Year award on the Marlins. That was a no-brainer selection.
Sanchez posted an ERA of 3.46 and 1.21 WHIP through 39 innings of work. He gave up 36 hits and 15 earned runs in the regular season. There is room for improvement for him, but you can’t really criticize a rookie with those numbers.
The Marlins hope that he’s able to grow on the road at Wrigley Field, because he hasn’t been at his best on the highway. Sanchez notched an ERA of 4.50 and 1.29 WHIP through 14 innings as a visitor in 2020.
He’s regressed a bit in his last two outings, allowing 12 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in his last 7 innings. The price on the Cubs has gone up since I locked in my bet for the Thursday game. That’s unfortunate, but I still believe Darvish and the Cubs can get it done and force a Game 3.