Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 2.88 ERA)
The National League Wild Card gets underway on Wednesday after the American League had the day to themselves on Tuesday. Both will be in action on Wednesday, with the slate consisting of eight games. We have wall to wall action beginning early in the afternoon, or morning if you’re out west, and into the evening.
The Miami Marlins are in Chicago for what they hope is two quick wins in their favor. They are playing with house money with nothing to lose in Chicago. Sometimes those can be the most dangerous of teams.
Even in an expanded postseason in this 60-game campaign, the Marlins were not counted on to go to the postseason. In fact, many had them as the bottom team in the NL East. That honor belongs to the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, who tied with a record of 26-34.
I think a drop off was expected for the Nationals, but for the Marlins to finish ahead of them, it was a bit of a surprise. The Marlins ultimately concluded the regular season with a record of 31-29 for second in the NL East. In a normal season, they wouldn’t be going to the playoffs in 2020.
However, 2020 has been anything but normal. The Marlins want to continue to show that this is an abnormal year with a deep playoff run. That said, even if the Marlins don’t go deep, this opportunity in the postseason gives them valuable experience for the future.
Derek Jeter received plenty of criticism for blowing the roster up and letting Giancarlo Stanton walk, but they seem to be trending in the right direction now. We’re not so sure yet whether the Diamondbacks or Marlins won the Zac Gallen trade, but Gallen sure would have been nice in their rotation right about now.
Sandy Alcantara is expected to get the starting nod for the Marlins in Game 1 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. There’s nothing to lose for Alcantara and the Marlins, so let’s see how they handle this challenge. The Cubs are scheduled to send Kyle Hendricks to the bump for the series opener. Head below for our free Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs pick for Game 1 on September 30, 2020.
Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs Game 1 Betting Odds:
Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs Prediction:
The Marlins might as well take chances and go for it all at Wrigley Field. When you’re a team that wasn’t expected to be here, you can play a little more loosely than a team with pressure. More pressure has to be on the Cubs in this series, naturally. Sandy Alcantara gives the Marlins the best chance of winning in Chicago.
Alcantara has developed into a top option for the Marlins. He posted an ERA of 3.00 and 1.19 WHIP through 42 innings of work. His work has been the most impressive on the road, where Alcantara has been terrific with an ERA of 1.80 and 0.95 WHIP.
There are some Cubs in this lineup that have had success against Alcantara, though. Four Cubs are hitting better than .300 against Alcantara through 36 at-bats. Javier Baez has the most experience against Alcantara with 8 at-bats and 3 hits for a .375 batting average. The Cubs have connected for a home run and 5 RBI against Alcantara.
Kyle Hendricks gets the opening honors for the Cubs at home. He’s been dependable with an ERA of 2.88 and 1.00 WHIP through 12 starts. That just about matches his experience in the postseason, as Hendricks owns an ERA of 2.98 and 1.19 WHIP in 11 games in the playoffs. Hendricks has been excellent at Wrigley Field in 2020, with an ERA of 1.85 and 0.76 WHIP.
Note that teams are hitting just .195 against Hendricks through 43.2 innings at Wrigley Field. Hendricks has been lights out versus the Marlins in his career. They’re hitting just .147 against him, so this matchup works out perfectly for the Cubs. I will stand with the Cubs to win the first game of this Wild Card series.