The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs square off on Saturday with first pitch set for 2:20 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL and will be available to watch on FS1. The pitching matchup will feature the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez facing off against Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly.
The Marlins (48-58) are just 5-13 since July 15 following Friday’s 2-1 loss. They have averaged 2.3 runs per game and hit only eight home runs (four fewer than Yankees star Aaron Judge) during that span. Miami will hope their fortunes turn with Lopez on the mound; they are 12-9 in games that he starts. Lopez’s name was bandied about in rumors prior to the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but instead, he’ll stay in South Florida and look to rebound from his most recent start, when he allowed 12 hits and six runs over 2.2 innings against the Mets. Prior to that blot, Lopez had a 3.04 ERA over 20 starts this season.
The Cubs (42-63) looked to be on their way to a series-opening loss Friday until catcher Willson Contreras launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Contreras batted only .149 with one homer in 19 games last month as he was one of the most popular names on the trade block. However, surprisingly, he ended up staying in Chicago and has four extra-base hits (double, triple, two HRs) since the deadline passed. Smyly is coming off a loss to the Giants in which he allowed five earned runs over four innings.
Marlins vs. Cubs
Pitchers: Pablo Lopez vs. Drew Smyly
First pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET
Marlins local broadcast: Bally Sports Florida
Cubs local broadcast: Marquee Sports Network
Live stream: FS1, FOX Sports App
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Marlins -1.5 (+155)
Run total: 8.5
Moneyline odds: Marlins -110, Cubs -110
Moneyline pick: Marlins -110
Which bad team do you like more? Even with the Marlins’ currently absent offense, they are a slightly better bet because of Lopez. The NL Pitcher of the Month for April, Lopez has been more uneven since then, but has shown the ability to absolutely shut down the worst teams in MLB. Case in point: He allowed a total of four earned runs over 18.1 innings in starts against the Reds, Pirates and Nationals last month. Miami won each of those games and should triumph against the team that owns the second-worst record in the National League.
Player prop pick: Charles Leblanc over 0.5 total bases (-180)
Leblanc is starting to settle into an everyday role for Miami and went two-for-three at the plate in Friday’s loss to Chicago. Through six games for the Marlins this season Leblanc is slashing .400/.429/.650 with eight hits (two doubles, one HR) in 20 at-bats. With a hit in five of the past six games, bet on Saturday being another effective day for Leblanc who will go over his total bases for the day.
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