The Miami Marlins are coming by to visit the Chicago Cubs at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field for a three-game series starting tonight. The Fish are facing a team that is actually worse than them for a change in the Cubs, who have struggled on both sides of the ball. So have the Marlins, so this series will not be a cakewalk certainly, but the Fish can feel confident that they are facing a team that has performed worse than them this season for a change.
Catch the series preview for the Cubs/Marlins series here.
On the mound tonight is Anibal Sanchez, who will look to recover from a series of mediocre starts. He will be facing Travis Wood, who has been decent despite mediocre peripherals.
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Anibal Sanchez has not had a good June and July, posting a 6.69 ERA and a 4.65 FIP. Still, Sanchez's overall season performance is about where we expected it to be, minus the inflated ERA. He is pitching to right around his averages, so it is what we would expect to see given his performance since 2009. All this June month did was really regress him quickly to his previous mean, signaling that his high strikeout rate really was an early season mirage. He remains an excellent starter nonetheless.
Wood has struggled throughout his young career despite decent strikeout and walk numbers. He had an excellent rookie year a few seasons ago with the Cincinnati Reds, but following a disappointing 2011 year, he was dealt to the Cubs for reliever Sean Marshall. This season, his ERA has dropped despite his worst strikeout-to-walk ratio and otherwise poor peripherals. There is a very good chance his .218 BABIP will fall like an ugly house of cards, and the Marlins hope that happens tonight.
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Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Cubs 4-2