Jason Hammel (5-3, 2.92 ERA) and Tom Koehler (6-4, 3.66 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (42-35) and the Miami Marlins (34-46) at Wrigley Field. Action begins at 2:20 p.m. ET on Friday, Jul. 3 and can be seen on CSN-CHI, FSN-FL and ESPN2.
Hammel is 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts against the Marlins. Anthony Rizzo (.297, 44 Rs, 15 HRs, 45 RBIs, 12 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI. Against the Cubs, Koehler is 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and nine strikeouts.
Chicago is a -167 favorite against Miami and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is currently unavailable. The Cubs have an overall money line of +288 and a record as the favorite of 25-19. The Cubs have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.2 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.9 runs per game. Chicago leads the whole NL in walks at home, earning an average of 3.5 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cubs, who have a team ERA of only 3.42. The Cubs are the second-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.18 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cubs, who lead the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.7.
As for their opponent, Miami is coming in with an overall money line of -1,278 and a disappointing record of 17-28 as the underdog. Offensively, the Marlins have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 3.7 runs per game by averaging 2.7 during that stretch.
The Marlins lead the season series, 2-1. The Cubs have a 34-31 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Koehler takes the mound. Hammel (RHP) will be on the hill against the Marlins, who have a 24-37 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Marlins won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Cubs are 19-13. The Marlins are 13-11 in close games this season.
When the Marlins play into extra innings, they have a 3-1 record. The Cubs are 10-4 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Marlins are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Cubs have a 2-8 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Marlins are 25-12. The Cubs have a 29-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Chicago and Miami both rank near the bottom of the league in runs. Chicago sits at 22nd with 304 runs this season and Miami ranks 25th with 296.
Ranking 25th, Miami is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 188 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 262.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 26-15. When the Marlins hit at least one homer, they have a 23-26 record.