The expanded MLB playoffs are finally here, so here’s a Cubs vs Marlins Betting Preview. A Marlins team that I don’t think anyone is used to seeing in October is facing off against a Cubs team who are coming off their third division title in the past five years. The pitching matchup is between Miami’s Sandy Alcantara and Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks, two great pitchers that have been trusted as the Game 1 starters to begin their postseason journeys.

While Chicago is no stranger to the postseason recently, this will be the first playoff berth for the Marlins since 2003, all the way back when they were still the Florida Marlins. So let’s take a look at these two teams and what their paths are to taking the always important Game 1 in this best-of-three series.

You Never Know What to Expect

It’s worth noting that the only other times Miami has been in the playoffs, it has won the World Series (1997, 2003). We know Miami has a solid young team, with great pitching and a fairly decent lineup, despite not having any big names on their roster besides Starling Marte (dealing with an injury after getting hit in the head by a pitch on Sunday).

The Cubs and Marlins haven’t played each other once this year due to COVID-19 separating the East, Central, and West teams, and Miami is not even close to the 105-loss team the Cubs played last year.

I’ll lay it out plain and simple, if the Marlins can outpitch the Cubs’ superb pitching staff with their young up-and-comers, they will be the dark horse to shock the world and make a run in the NL playoffs. Chicago has very little experience against the strong Marlins pitching staff; however, they certainly have the better lineup. I have a feeling if Miami pulls off the upset, this will be a low-scoring series.

Act Like You’ve Been There Before

Chicago has nothing but playoff experience up and down its entire roster, with a lot of their core players still around from their World Series victory in 2016. Their manager, David Ross, played catcher for that championship team, and I can think of six hitters off the top of my head who were also on that team who will, without a doubt, be starting in this series.

Hendricks has pitched in 11 postseason games and has a 2.98 ERA in those games, while pitching Game 2 will be one of the frontrunners for the NL Cy Young, Yu Darvish.

While the Cubs’ lineup has had a disappointing regular season, I don’t think it’s a wild guess in saying they will turn it up for the playoffs. Their path to winning this Game 1 is exactly that.

When Chicago’s lineup is hitting up to par, they are just as dangerous as the best in baseball, and if the young Marlins pitching staff can’t hold up, I believe this will be nothing short of a sweep of Miami in the first round.

Cubs vs Marlins Betting Predictions for Game 1

In the Cubs vs Marlins betting analysis, the Cubs are favored in this one and will be the likely favorites for the whole series barring any horrible injuries. The moneyline for Game 1 is looking like this: Cubs (-165) and Marlins (+140).

I will be picking the favorites in this game, as Hendricks has been great this year, and I don’t think the Marlins lineup with a shaky Marte will be able to produce. While I do like Alcantara, young pitchers in their first playoff games historically do not do very well.

I’ll be looking for the Cubs lineup to prove themselves as postseason threats and jump out to a 1-0 advantage at an empty Wrigley Field. Our Cubs vs Marlins Betting Prediction has the final score as Chicago 5-1.

The Pick: Chicago Cubs (-165)