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Miami Marlins Series Preview: Chicago Cubs

In this installment of our series previews, Jesse Nadelman takes a look at the Marlins upcoming three-game set with the young and talented Chicago Cubs, at the confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Marlins (34-46) at Chicago Cubs (42-35)
Friday July 3rd through Sunday July 5th
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game Details

Friday

2:20 P.M. E.T.
TV: FSN-Florida, ESPN
Radio: 940 AM WINZ, WAQI 710
Probable Starters:
MIA- Tom Koehler (6-4) 3.66 ERA
CHC- Jason Hammel (5-3) 2.92 ERA

Saturday

7:15 P.M. E.T.
TV: FOX
Radio: 940 AM WINZ, WAQI 710
Probable Starters:
MIA- Jarred Cosart (1-3) 4.12 ERA
CHC- Donn Roach (0-1) 10.80 ERA

Sunday

2:20 P.M. E.T.
TV: FSN-Florida
Radio: 940 AM WINZ, WAQI 710
Probable Starters:
MIA- Mat Latos (3-5) 5.27 ERA
CHC- Kyle Hendricks (3-4) 4.15 ERA

Overview:

The Marlins will make their first stop on the road-trip in historic stadiums, as the team travels to Wrigley Field this weekend for a date with the Cubs, followed by a trip to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox. Luckily, the Fish come off of a sweep against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park, their first series win since June 14th against the Rockies.

The Marlins were able to take game one highlighted by a inside the park homerun by Dee Gordon on Tuesday night, and then Justin Bour rocketed a walk-off three-run homerun to give the Fish the win Wednesday night, The Marlins completed the sweep on Thursday afternoon during Jose Fernandez's return, in which he rocketed a homerun in the game also.

The Marlins are now 4-1 without slugger Giancarlo Stanton, but on a good note the team is getting healthier. The Marlins' Jarred Cosart and Jose Fernandez have both re-joined the rotation, both guys who had ERA's under three last season with Miami.

Cosart got off to a slow start this season by posting a 4.12 ERA before he went down to injury this season, but the 23-year old has a career ERA of 3.39, and has a solid WHIP of 1.26 this season. Cosart also finished with a stellar number of 115 strikeouts between the Astros and Marlins last season, after the Fish acquired him at the trade-deadline last year.

Rookie Justin Bour hit a monster three-run shot to win the game for the Marlins on Wednesday night, which happened to be in the midst of a series he did very well in. Bour had a hit in each game against the Giants, and raised his average to .261 on the season, while posting a WAR of 0.5.

Despite the sweep of the Giants, the Marlins are still eight games below .500 entering this series against the Cubs, but for sure are showing signs of life. The Fish are currently nine and a half games back of the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East.

Like the Marlins, the Chicago Cubs will enter this series following a sweep of their own, on the road against the New York Mets. The Cubs were able to scuffle the ailing Mets offense and hold them to just one run throughout the three-game series.

The Cubs' young and powerful offense has been a strong suit of theirs despite their struggles recently. Chicago's .318 OBP ranks sixth in the National League, and their OPS+ of 95 is above the league average. The Cubs' offense has been pretty good at home, hitting .236/.318/.361 at Wrigley Field this season.

Jake Arrieta has been the work horse powering the Cubs' rotation after another dominant performance Thursday afternoon against the Mets. Arrieta has a 2.94 ERA this season, and posts a FIP of 2.81 and WHIP of 1.061. Jason Hammel has also been phenomenal with an ERA of 2.92, a FIP of 3.44, and a WHIP of 0.972. Hammel is the only Cub with a WHIP under one.

The Cubs are 5-5 in their last ten games entering this series against the Marlins, and are eight and a half back of the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central, despite being seven games over .500.