The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs will wrap up a three-game series when they meet one more time at Marlins Park on Wednesday night. Chicago is going for a sweep after taking the first two contests. Miami is off to a predictably terrible 4-14 start, which includes a 1-8 record in its last nine outings.
Nothing cures a team’s ills these days quite like a matchup with the Marlins. The Cubs look to continue their quick turnaround in South Florida when they attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the host Marlins on Wednesday. Chicago is within two games of .500 following a 1-6 start as it has won four of the last five contests.
Left-hander Cole Hamels (2-0, 3.79 ERA) is taking the mound for Chicago on Wednesday. Hamels has been excellent in his last two starts, recording 11 strikeouts without a walk over 14.0 innings. The 35-year-old was dominant against the Angels this past Friday, allowing just one run and four hits with six strikeouts over 8.0 innings. Hamels is 10-15 with a 3.45 ERA in 38 career starts against Miami, including a 2-5 record and 3.14 ERA in 10 outings at Marlins Park.
The Marlins haven’t put up much of a fight in the first two games of the series, as Chicago’s pitching staff easily has handled their overmatched lineup. Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat already was the fourth time this season Miami has been shut out and marked the 13th time in its first 18 contests it scored fewer than four runs.
Sandy Alcantara (1-1, 4.24 ERA) will oppose Hamels on Wednesday. Alcantara dazzled Colorado in his season debut, striking out six batters over 8.0 scoreless innings, but he hasn’t been able to produce any magic in his last two starts. The 23-year-old Dominican was tagged for six runs and 11 hits over 5.0 innings in a loss to Philadelphia last Friday after issuing five walks without recording a strikeout during 4.0 innings of work in his previous outing at Atlanta. Alcantara twice faced the Cubs in relief in 2017, allowing two unearned runs over 1.2 innings.
The Miami Marlins:
- 21-51 in their last 72 overall
- 1-7 in their last eight home games
- 0-5 in their last five games against the National League Central
The Chicago Cubs:
- 4-1 in their last five overall
- 4-1 in their last five road games against teams with home winning percentages under .400
- 4-1 in Hamels’ last five starts against teams with losing records