Chicago Cubs vs Miami Marlins – Series Preview (April 18-21): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (11-7) just completed a grueling nine-game West Coast road trip in which they withstood injuries and several bullpen meltdowns to post a 5-4 record. So far, they navigated a difficult opening schedule quite well and currently sit four games over the .500 mark. Now they return to Wrigley for a four-game set with the badly scuffling Marlins.

Miami (4-15) made the playoffs in 2023 but they have lost their top two starters, Sandy Alcántara and Eury Pérez, to Tommy John and began 2024 with a disastrous 0-9 record. They currently have a -34 run differential and sit in last place in the National League East.

The Marlins’ .601 team OPS is ahead of only the truly horrible White Sox so far in 2024. Luis Arráez, who won the batting title last year, remains the best hitter on the team and veterans like Josh Bell and Jazz Chisholm Jr. are still potential threats but they haven’t done much so far.

Not surprisingly, having the top of the rotation out injured has Miami posing a 4.84 team ERA that is fourth-worst in MLB. Ryan Weathers is the one bright spot with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. The bullpen has been a complete train wreck with a very ugly 5.87 ERA.

This should be a very winnable series for the Cubs on paper, which of course makes it a dangerous one. Even the worst baseball teams win 60 games in a year and they had trouble with the Marlins last season. Provided they aren’t looking ahead, the Cubs should be able to build on the momentum from their road trip and move up in the standings. If nothing else, it will be nice to see them back home at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Thursday, April 18 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Friday, April 19 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Saturday, April 20 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.
  • Sunday, April 21 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/18 Jameson Taillon 32 R
A.J. Puk 28 L 5.91 0-3 6.86 0.57
4/19 Shōta Imanaga 30 L 0.00 2-0 1.50 8.00
Jesús Luzardo 26 L 7.65 0-2 5.85 2.10
4/20 Javier Assad 26 R 2.16 2-0 3.68 3.60
Edward Cabrera 26 R 1.50 0-0 0.37 10.00
4/21 Kyle Hendricks 34 R 12.71 0-2 8.67 1.57
Ryan Weathers 24 L 2.70 2-1 4.10 2.44

What to Watch For

  • Taillon is making his season debut after missing the first three weeks with back stiffness.
  • Nico Hoerner has seven hits in his last four games as he shakes off a slow start to the season.
  • OF Bryan De La Cruz has been the Marlins’ best hitter with three home runs and a .746 OPS.
  • Michael Busch had a tremendous road trip with 11 hits, including five homers.
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