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A capsule look at the Marlins-Cubs playoff series

A capsule look at the best-of-three playoff series between the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs beginning Wednesday. All games in Chicago:

MIAMI MARLINS

Record: 31-29.

Playoff Entry: second place, NL East.

Playoff Seed: No. 6.

Chicago Cubs' Billy Hamilton, right, celebrates with Cameron Maybin after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP PhotoNam Y. Huh)

Manager: Don Mattingly (fifth season).

Projected Rotation: RHP Pablo Lopez (6-4, 3.61 ERA, 59 Ks), RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00), RHP Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46).

Top Hitters: 1B Jesus Aguilar (.277, 8 HRs, 34 RBIs), SS Miguel Rojas (.304, 4, 20, .888 OPS).

Miami Marlins' Brian Anderson hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP PhotoKathy Willens)

Top Relievers: RHP Brandon Kintzler (2-3, 2.22 ERA, 12 saves), RHP Brad Boxberger (1-0, 3.00).

Series Summary: The Marlins are in the playoffs for the first time since 2003, when they rallied past the Cubs in an NL Championship Series famous for the Steve Bartman episode at Wrigley Field. Then the Marlins beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. ... After losing 105 games last year, Miami finished with a winning record for the first time since 2009. The club overcame a coronavirus outbreak at the start of the season that sidelined more than half the team, and navigated a closing stretch that included 28 games in 24 days. The acquisition of CF Starling Marte at the trade deadline and the emergence of rookie Sanchez in the rotation helped push them over the finish line.

CHICAGO CUBS

Chicago Cubs second baseman David Bote throws out Chicago White Sox's Nick Madrigal at first during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP PhotoNam Y. Huh)

Record: 34-26.

Playoff Entry: NL Central champions.

Playoff Seed: No. 3.

Manager: David Ross (first season).

Projected Rotation: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 2.88 ERA), RHP Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01, 93 Ks), LHP Jon Lester (3-3, 5.16).

Miami Marlins' Dan Castano winds up during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP PhotoKathy Willens)

Top Hitters: CF Ian Happ (.258, 12 HRs, 28 RBIs), RF Jason Heyward (.265, 6, 22), 3B Kris Bryant (.206, 4, 11), SS Javier Baez (.203, 8, 24), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.222, 11, 24), C Willson Contreras (.243, 7, 26).

Top Relievers: RHP Jeremy Jeffress (4-1, 1.54 ERA, 8/10 saves), RHP Craig Kimbrel (0-1, 5.28, 2 saves).

Series Summary: The Cubs are back in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years after missing out last season. They made it despite a .220 batting average that ranked among the majors’ worst. They were also fifth in strikeouts. Bryant, Baez, Rizzo and Contreras all struggled. The Cubs also had issues in the bullpen, but their rotation was a strength, with Hendricks his usual steady self and Darvish making a push for the NL Cy Young Award. Things get a little dicey behind them, with the 36-year-old Lester posting the highest ERA of his 15-year career.

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Andrew Chafin, right, celebrates with catcher Victor Caratini after they defeated the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP PhotoNam Y. Huh)

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Miami Marlins Chad Wallach (17) greets Marlins Jon Berti after Berti scored on Jazz Chisholm's two-run double during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP PhotoKathy Willens)