If the first two games between the Miami Marlins and the visiting Chicago Cubs are any indication, Wednesday's rubber match of their three-game series should be a close one. The teams have split a pair of one-run contests to begin the set, with the Cubs outlasting the Marlins 5-4 in 13 innings in the opener before Miami bounced back for a 6-5 win on Tuesday. All five meetings this season have been decided by three runs or fewer.
The Cubs are trying to nail down consecutive series wins on the road for the first time since last June. They'll send right-hander Jake Arrieta to the mound in hopes he can shut down the Marlins for the second time in 10 days after striking out seven in six scoreless frames June 8 in Chicago. Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is set to return from the paternity leave list following the birth of a son, and he's seeking a career-high fifth win in his second career start against Chicago.
TV: 12:40 p.m. ET, MLB Network, CSN Chicago
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (2-1, 2.09 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.71)
Arrieta was brilliant his last time out, allowing only two hits over seven scoreless frames in a win at Philadelphia and matching his career high with nine strikeouts. The 28-year-old has tossed 13 shutout innings over his last two starts and has permitted one or zero runs in six of his eight outings this season. Arrieta is facing the Marlins for only the second time and looking for his first decision against them.
Eovaldi has won his last two decisions, but the Marlins have lost the last three games he has started despite the 24-year-old turning in quality starts in two of them. One of those outings was against the Cubs, whom he limited to three runs over 7 2/3 innings while compiling eight strikeouts in a no-decision. He was not sharp last time out, allowing six runs and 10 hits - both matching season-highs - in 4 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh.
1. Cubs INF Luis Valbuena has recorded multiple hits in six of his last eight games and is batting .419 with five doubles, a homer and five RBIs over that span.
2. Marlins 3B Casey McGehee had his 11-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday but has reached base in seven of his 10 plate appearances in the series.
3. Miami optioned RHP Sam Dyson, who earned his first major-league win in relief Tuesday, to Triple-A New Orleans to make room for Eovaldi.
PREDICTION: Cubs 3, Marlins 2