Stephen Nover Free Friday Play

On June 24, 2016, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Marlins plus $1.37 hosting Cubs

Given their injuries, bullpen problems and Kyle Hendricks pitching on the road, the Cubs opened way too high for this matchup against the Marlins.

Chicago has lost a season-high four straight games. The Cubs are not that strong with Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler on the DL and Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero questionable. Neither Rizzo (sore back) nor Montero (knee) played on Thursday during the Cubs’ 4-2 loss to Miami.

The Cubs have scored nine runs in their last four games, failing to score more than three in any of the matchups. Can they break through against Tom Koehler? He’s a bottom-of-the-rotation type, but pitches better at home with a 3.58 ERA compared to 4.17 on the road. Koehler is in decent form, too, allowing three runs or fewer during each of his last nine starts. The Marlins have a rested A.J. Ramos, who is perfect in save opportunities this season, to finish.

The Marlins are 5-2 in their last seven games. They have won six of their past eight games at Marlins Park.

Hendricks is 1-5 away from Wrigley Field with a 4.36 ERA. He has a huge home/road split since he’s 4-1 at home with a 1.93 ERA. Chicago has dropped Hendricks’ past five road starts. The Cubs’ bullpen is going through a tough stretch with a 4.30 ERA this month and 5.40 ERA during their past eight games.

The Cubs’ bullpen situation is dire enough that management is resurrecting 41-year-old Joe Nathan, who has begun a minor-league rehab assignment after being out nearly the entire 2015 season following Tommy John surgery.


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