2020 Postseason Preview: Cubs V. Marlins
Would a bear win in a fight with a Marlin? Just asking for a friend…
This doesn’t seem like a fair fight … just on image alone. A marlin is kind of cute, like a dolphin. But a bear … a bear is a ferocious animal ready to rip anything life from limb.
On the mound, the Marlins are almost a full run worse in the ERA. But as is so often the case, the team that can pitch … can’t hit. The Cubs are hitting .220 for the year. Which means, to quote Lloyd Christmas, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
First, the Marlins know how to steal a base, which comes in handy when the chips are down and the season’s on the line. Teams that don’t know how to run do all kinds of crazy stuff in the playoffs that cost their teams wins, or at the very least give the opposition more chances. But under manager Don Mattingly, the fish turned 51 walks or singles into doubles and were thrown out only 14 times.
On the mound, starters Pablo Lopez, Daniel Castano, and Sixto Sanchez all have ERAs between 3.03 and 3.69. And the relief corps has better numbers than that for Miami. Up in Chicago, Yu Darvish (2.01 ERA) and Kyle Hendricks (2.88) look great on paper and bring the team ERA down, but the relief corps is full of gas cans. Both starters have also had flame outs in the postseason in the past. If either falters, 25-year-old Adbert Alzolay (2.94 ERA) might be called on to save the season. Alzolay has had four starts this year and just 33 innings pitched in his career.
At the plate, Chicago’s stars, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant hit .222 and .208 respectively. Sure they’ve come alive in the playoffs in the past, but they were starting from a position of hitting closer to .280. Javier Baez is hitting .203.
Miami’s Miguel Rojas or Jon Berti can lead off with a combined on-base percentage of .390 and the two are 1-2 in stolen bases. The addition of Jesus Aguilar from the Brewers was a big one. With his power, along with Brian Anderson, Corey Dickerson and Garrett Cooper, Miami has four players with a combination of skills that are quickly disappearing in today’s game: they can hit the ball out of the ballpark and get base hits on the balls that don’t leave the yard.
The Cubs look old and unable to adjust. Certainly a decent pitching staff like Miami can take advantage. A short series benefits the young and the brave. Our pick is the Marlins.