After being swept in St. Louis, the Miami Marlins now begin a 3-game series against another NL Central opponent.
The Miami Marlins did not play well in St. Louis as they were swept in three games against the Cardinals. Despite strong pitching from their starters, the Marlins struggled in the late innings in all three games, while also only scoring three runs for the entire series. Because of this, Miami now finds themselves 10 games below .500, and now facing an arguably must-win stretch of games beginning in Chicago.
The Cubs come into this game after dropping three of four against the Mets in New York. Going 6-4 in their last 10 games, Chicago is in sole-possession of first place in the NL Central, and display the fourth-highest run differential in the NL at +38.
The first pitch times and probable pitching matchups for each game of the series can be found below (Games at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL):
Miami Marlins (29-39, 5th in NL East) vs Chicago Cubs (39-30, 1st in NL Central)
Friday, June 18
First Pitch: 8:05 pm ET
Probable Starters: TBD vs Zach Davies (4-3, 4.01 ERA)
Saturday, June 19
First Pitch: 2:20 pm ET
Sunday, June 20
First Pitch: 2:20 pm ET
Probable Starters: TBD vs Alec Mills (2-1, 6.11 ERA)
Cubs Players to Watch
- 3B Kris Bryant (#17) – .291 AVG, 13 HR, 39 RBI
- SS Javier Baez (#9) – .232 AVG, 16 HR, 44 RBI, 9 SB
- 1B Anthony Rizzo (#44) – .255 AVG, 9 HR, 31 RBI
Key To Win Series: Have To Score Runs
This isn’t just a key for this series, but it is extremely important if the Marlins want to turn things around. Miami is getting some strong pitching from both the starters and bullpen, but have had a hard time scoring runs in recent games. Now playing against a first place team on the road, the Marlins must take advantage of run scoring opportunities this weekend.
Offensive MVP: Jon Berti
Berti has quietly been very good at the plate during the month of June with a slash line of .319/.407/.362 across 15 games including five multi-hit games. While he might not necessarily be the biggest threat to drive in runs, his ability in recent weeks to get on base could come up big this weekend.
Pitching MVP: Yimi Garcia
Garcia only threw four pitches during the Cardinals series surrendering a walk-off HR. With this short outing having been his lone outing since last Friday, the Marlins closer should be available for multiple appearances this weekend if needed.
Bold Prediction: Big Series for Miguel Rojas
With a potential return from the IL set for this weekend, Rojas could announce his return to the Marlins lineup in a big way.