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Cubs vs. Marlins MLB Expert Pick – 4/28

Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins MLB Expert Pick and Prediction – April 28, 2023 

CHICAGO CUBS VS. MIAMI MARLINS MLB EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – April 28, 2023 — How does what happened Thursday impact the Marlins as they come out of Atlanta?

Miami was well on its way to getting swept by the Braves on Thursday, facing a 4-0 deficit as the game went to the ninth inning. But rather than sit back and absorb another defeat on the road, the Marlins came back strong.

Miami erupted for five runs in the ninth, turning the game on its head and giving the Fish some badly-needed momentum. 

The Stroman Factor

They carry that into a matchup with Marcus Stroman, who has been the model of consistency this season. In five starts on the year, Stroman has gone six innings in four of them, no more and no less.

In this day and age, it’s actually become rare to see a starter give you six innings, let alone have it happen in this many games. Stroman’s proving the rare pitcher in 2023 who doesn’t need much help from the bullpen to get by as long as he keeps the ball in the park. 

That was the one thing that cost Stroman last time out, as he allowed three home runs in five innings to the Dodgers, taking a 7-3 defeat. But otherwise, he’s been fine because he’s getting help from his lineup. The Chicago offense has been more suited to manufacturing runs, ranking second in batting average and ranking in the top five in stolen bases.

As long as Stroman doesn’t give up a major blast, the offense will be there for him. That’s not true for the Marlins, who just aren’t creating enough offense outside of the occasional outburst. Miami has just 85 runs on the season, good for only 28th of 30 in MLB. If the Marlins expect to string a few wins together, they have to get things figured out at the plate. 

The Odds 

Matchup 

Open 

Spread 

Total 

Moneyline 

Chicago Cubs 

(14-10 SU,
15-9 RL) 

-1.5 

-1.5 

O7.5 

-120 

Miami Marlins 

(13-13 SU, 10-16 RL) 

U7.5 

+1.5 

U7.5 

+100 

DraftKings

First Pitch 

When: Friday, April 28th at 6:40 pm EST 

Where: LoanDepot Park, Miami 

Starting Pitchers: Marcus Stroman, CHC (2-2, 2.17 ERA, 30 K’s) vs. Jesus Luzardo, MIA (2-1, 3.62 ERA, 32 K’s) 

Public Bets: 73% on Chicago 

Public Money: 85% on Chicago 

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 28th, 2023 

Chicago vs. Miami In-Season Trends 

Maybe they’re fast starters and maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Fridays have been very good to Cubs bettors. Over their past 17 Friday games, the Cubs have won 15 times, with most of those being series openers. They’ve gone 19-7 in their past 26 series openers, and only twice in 2023 — April 20 to Los Angeles and April 3 against Cincinnati — have they failed to win a series opener. 

In this matchup, playing the first five innings UNDER might be the way to go, as the Marlins have a tendency to both score late and give up runs late. Miami’s offense hasn’t exactly been strong at any point in games, but it’s been especially weak in the first five innings, where the Marlins average an MLB-worst 1.4 runs per game. Over their past five games, the Marlins’ disparity has been on full display: they’ve scored 17 runs, and 12 of them came in the final four innings. 

For their part, the Cubs should be perfectly happy to play along with some late fireworks. Chicago is the best in baseball at scoring in the last four innings, averaging 2.57 runs a game over the final four frames. Not only that, but Cub pitching limits opponents to 1.91 runs per game in the first five innings of the contest. In the back half of games, both the Cubs and the Marlins rank in the bottom third of runs allowed, as neither bullpen is a strength. 

Players to Watch 

In a game of two swift, small-ball teams, a stolen base prop offers high value, and Nico Hoerner of the Cubs looks like the most likely candidate. Chicago ranks third in the majors in steals per game, and the Cubs get far more aggressive away from Wrigley Field, averaging 1.75 steals per game in road games. Hoerner already has 10 thefts to his name, and if he gets on base early, he’s a threat to try to manufacture a run. 

Jazz Chisholm’s also a threat to run with the Marlins, especially with how often he’s getting on base. Chisholm struggled badly in the early going with a 3-for-20 start, but he’s now hit safely in four of five games. He’s got the speed to swipe a base, and the Marlins know the Cubs aren’t likely to give them too many chances without creating one themselves. Either player represents a good stolen base prop at plus money. 

The Pick 

Stroman is pitching well, and the Cubs come to Miami off two wins in three games against San Diego. As long as Stroman stays in the park, which he should in Miami’s closed roof environment, Chicago should be fine. 

This should be a game where the hitters take over later in the game after struggling early. Expect the starters to dominate before both teams’ questionable bullpens push the game toward the finish. 

Dan’s Picks 

Cubs ML (-120) 

Marcus Stroman Over 17.5 Outs 

Under 3.5 First 5 Innings 

Nico Hoerner/Jazz Chisholm SB 

 

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Author

  • Dan Angell, Contributor

    Dan is originally from Virginia and has covered basketball games across the country over the past 18 years. He now resides in Indianapolis and loves a good defensive showcase. His Twitter @danangell11.

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