The 2020 MLB season has only become wilder during the Wild Card round. While numerous rule and scheduling changes have drawn criticism, there’s no denying that the opening series has delivered drama of the highest degree.
There are only two games on offer today, but we’re here to help you find the expert picks and best bets for both. San Diego has not yet announced a starting pitcher, so lines are not available at any regulated US sportsbooks at the time of publishing. Check back soon, though! We’ll update this article with picks from both games as soon as lines are made available.
Let’s dive into this afternoon’s Marlins-Cubs Game 2 tilt first.
Marlins 3-inning total under 0.5 (-110) – 1 unit
Yu Darvish is not only one of the best pitchers in baseball, but also one of the most reliable starters in the early innings. For his career, he has a sterling 2.69 ERA the first time through the order. It’s a cold, still afternoon at Wrigley Field, so the odds of an early long ball from the visitors are even more slim. I think the Chicago ace shuts down and shuts out Miami’s hitters the first 3 innings.
7-inning total under 5 (-115) – 2 units
My models have think a quality start from each hurler is likely. Miami would love to eliminate the Cubs here and avoid a Game 3, so uber-rookie Sixto Sanchez will receive a quick hook if he shows any sign of struggling. I far prefer this to the game total since it avoids late-inning bullpen shenanigans, and am confident enough to double my wager behind it.
Doubles: Cubs win + under 6.5 (+235) – 0.5 units
I don’t want to over-expose myself to the under, but I like the value presented here. All signs (including sharp money) point to a low-scoring affair, and I think Chicago lives to fight another day.
Cardinals (+110) – 1 unit
If you throw out a disastrous start at Milwaukee in which he coughed up 9 ER over just 3 IP, Jack Flaherty’s 2020 ERA is a sterling 3.16. Unsurprisingly, this figure is in-line with his 3.42 xFIP for the season and 3.36 career ERA. This is a great pitcher facing a San Diego bullpen that is absolutely gassed after pitching 13.2 innings the past two days. The Padres have a fantastic squad, but the combined absences of Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet ultimately will be their demise. The better team is going to lose this series.
Cardinals team total over 4 (-115) – 3 units
You need to run – not walk – to hammer this bet before the line moves. It’s a warm day in San Diego and the host’s formidable bullpen is running on fumes. They’ll be asked to pitch all 9 innings today and I truly don’t know where exactly all of those innings are going to come from. Even the most admirable performance won’t be spotless. The Cardinals offense is far from intimidating – averaging just 4.14 runs per game this season – but they are setup to exceed that average today.