Major League Baseball on Friday afternoon and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs, which will be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago.. First pitch is scheduled for a 2:20 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on ESPN 2.
Over/ Under: No Total Yet
This is game 1 of a 3 game series between these National League foes. The Miami Marlins come in off a 3 game home sweep of the San Francisco Giants, but still they are 12 games under .500 and 12 games behind division leading Washington in the NL East. The Cubs come in a off a sweep of their own as they took all three games they played at the Mets. The Cubs are 7 games over .500, but still they are in 3rd place in the NL Central, while trailing the cards by 8.5 games. The Marlins rank 25th in scoring (3.68 rpg), while on the mound they are 18th in ERA (3.98). Chicago ranks 22nd in scoring (3.95 rpg), while on the mound they are 7th in ERA (3.48).
Trend for this game include: Miami is 7-0 in Koehler's last 7 starts with 5 days of rest, but just 8-20 in their last 28 games as an underdog and 1-8 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Cubs are 10-1 in their last 11 games as a home favorite of -151 to -200 and 7-2 in Hammels last 9 starts during game 1 of a series, but just 2-10 in his last 12 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
Getting the ball for Miami today will be Tom Koehler, who is 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) this year, while on the road he is 2-3 with a 6.21 ERA. Tom is 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA in 3 games (2 starts) in his career vs the Cubs.
Toeing the rubber for the Cubs today will be Jason Hammel, who is 5-3 with a 2.92 ERA on the year, while at home he has gone 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 6 starts. Jason has gone 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 9 games (7 starts) in his career vs the Fish.
Pick: Gonna go with the Cubbies in this one. Chicago is off a nice 3 game sweep on the road vs the Mets and they want to keep that momentum going. They should be able to vs a Miami team that really plays poorly on the road where they have gone just 13-24 on the year. The Cubs are 20-16 at home and Jason Hammel has a 2.20 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP in 6 home starts this year, while Koehler has a 6.21 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP on the road. I can't see the Cubs losing this one.
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