The Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs will begin a four-game series at Wrigley Field on Monday.
Chicago swept Miami at Marlins Park in April and it currently leads the National League Central at 19-12. The Marlins are sitting at 9-24 this season and they have lost seven of the last eight games they have played. The Cubs meanwhile have won seven games in a row and are currently the hottest team in baseball.
Sandy Alcantara will be Miami's starter for the series opener and will bring a 4.86 E.R.A into the game. Miami has lost each of Alcantara's previous four starts and the right-hander is 1-3 overall on the season. Alcantara has only one quality start in 2019 and it was his first outing of the year. During the April series with the Cubs, Alcantara allowed five runs in six innings.
Caleb Smith will bring a 3-0 record into Tuesday's start. Smith has put together five straight quality starts and leads Miami with his 2.00 E.R.A. The left-hander has struck out eight in each of previous three starts and has 45 strikeouts this season. Smith has done a great job of keeping players off the bases in 2019 and he has good career numbers against Chicago's hitters. In 19 career at-bats, the Cubs' position players have a .211 average against Smith.
After a string of solid starts, Jose Urena struggled his last time out. Urena will get another opportunity to start on Wednesday, on a field where has seen some struggles. In Urena's two career starts at Wrigley Field, the Cubs have tallied six runs on ten hits. Urena needs to be extra careful when pitching to Anthony Rizzo, as the first baseman has a .455 career average against him.
Trevor Richards will start Thursday's series finale, as he continues to search for a victory in 2019. Richards is 0-4 with a 4.10 E.R.A and the Marlins have lost all seven of his starts. Richards pitched decently against Atlanta in his last outing, but he was inefficient. The right-hander hurled 4.1 shutout innings, before exiting with 90 pitches thrown.
Miami's offense struggled in the series against Atlanta this past weekend and it remains the worst unit in Major League Baseball. The Marlins have 91 total runs scored this season, which is easily the lowest amount in the league. Miami's negative 73 run differential is also the worst mark in MLB.
The series will begin on Monday at 8:05 p.m.