Series Preview: Cubs at Marlins, September 19 - September 21, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Marlins, September 19 – September 21, 2022

Chicago Cubs

I have been extremely happy to see the Cubs do some winning here in the second-half of the season, given what it could signal to impending free agents, as well as what it might tell us about some of the supporting cast already here in Chicago.

But if ever there were a series to consider losing, uh … this is it. Take a look at the reverse standings with draft lotto odds in parentheses.

  1. Nationals – 0 games back (16.5%)
  2. Athletics – 1.5 GB (16.5%)
  3. Pirates – 3.5 GB (16.5%)
  4. Tigers – 4.0 GB (13.25%)
  5. Royals – 6.5 GB (10.0%)
  6. Reds – 6.5 GB (7.5%)
  7. Marlins – 8.5 GB (5.5%)
  8. Cubs – 11.0 GB (3.9%)
  9. Rangers – 12.0 GB (2.7%)
  10. Rockies – 13.0 GB (1.8%)
  11. Angels – 13.0 GB (1.4%)

The Cubs are *right* on the bubble between meaningful odds and basically no shot at all, with three straight games against the team directly ahead of them. I’m just saying, you could make up a whole lot of ground in this one quick series.

Which, then, maybe makes it a little easier to stomach the volume of injuries the Cubs are facing at the moment. On top of missing starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Justin Steele, and Keegan Thompson, the Cubs are also without a number of starting position players: Willson Contreras (ankle), Nick Madrigal (groin), Nico Hoerner (triceps), Seiya Suzuki (finger). It’s wild.

In any case, the Cubs have these three games in Miami followed by four straight in Pittsburgh. Then it’s back to Wrigley Field for the final homestand of the season, before capping things off in Cincinnati (boy the MLB schedulers must’ve really thought the Cubs and Reds would be battling for something this year …).

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (62-84) just dropped a series against the Rockies at Wrigley Field, bringing their second-half record back down to an even .500.

The Miami Marlins (60-87) have done a TON of losing here in the second half of the season: 17-39 since the All-Star Break. Most recently, they lost two of three t the Nationals in D.C.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Zach McKinstry has been close to league average for the Cubs since making an adjustment to his new team, but he’s been even hotter lately. Over his last seven games, McKinstry has nine hits, including a double, two triples, and two homers. He hasn’t taken a walk during that stretch, but he’s starting to hit the ball with more authority, leaning on more of his pull-side power than we’re used to seeing out of him.

Over his last 20 games, Chris Morel is slashing just .138/.231/.224 (33 wRC+), but god bless him, because he’s also started multiple games at shortstop, center field, and third base during that stretch. It’s been an extremely long and taxing season for the 23-year-old straight out of Double-A, and I’m just willing to give him a full-on pass for his offensive performance here at the end of the year.

Drew Smyly has allowed just 1 earned run over his last 12.0 IP with 13Ks and just 3 walks. He was absolutely lit up by the Cardinals before that (7ER in 2.1 IP), but on the whole has been extremely solid this season.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, September 19 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, September 20 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, September 21 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Wade Miley (LHP) vs. Edward Cabrera (RHP)
Game 2: Adrian Sampson (RHP) vs. Pablo Lopez (RHP)
Game 3: Drew Smyly (LHP) vs. TBD

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Yan Gomes/P.J. Higgins
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas
  • 2B – Zach McKinstry
  • 3B – David Bote
  • SS – Chris Morel
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF -Michael Hermosillo
  • RF – Nelson Velázquez
  • DH – Franmil Reyes

Injured/Unavailable: Nico Hoerner(?), Seiya Suzuki (?), Willson Contreras, Nick Madrigal, Keegan Thompson, Steven Brault, Justin Steele, Codi Heuer, Ethan Roberts, Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck, Rafael Ortega

Miami Marlins:

  • C – Jacob Stallings
  • 1B – Lewin Diaz
  • 2B – Jon Berti
  • 3B – Joey Wendle
  • SS – Miguel Rojas
  • LF – Bryan De La Cruz
  • CF – JJ Bleday
  • RF – Brian Anderson
  • DH – Garrett Cooper

Injured/Unavailable: Daniel Castano, Avisail Garcia, Tommy Nance, Sean Guenther, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jorge Soler, Paul Campbell, Jordan Holloway, Max Meyer, Cody Poteet, Anthony Bender

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -98
Marlins: -106

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.03
Marlins: 3.56

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.71
Marlins: 4.28

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami