2019 Gameday Thread

Cubs vs. Braves: Alzolay vs. Fried (Game 79)

CHC (43-35): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
ATL (46-33): LHP Max Fried (8-3, 4.03 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Willson Contreras blew up over a and then the Cubs offense blew up to defeat Atlanta in the series opener. Adbert Alzolay takes the mound for his first MLB start with a win and a standing ovation already under his belt. He gave us a good look at his plus fastball and plus curveball as he pitched four innings in relief of Chatwood. He struck out five Mets and allowed a solo homerun as the only hit. The Atlanta offense has been better vs. righties than lefties.

Cubs vs. Braves: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 78)

CHC (42-35): LHP Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13 ERA)
ATL (46-32): RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs sandwiched their losses between two juicy slices of victory* and topped it all with some Javy special sauce to achieve the split vs. the Mets on Sunday. Jon Lester takes his turn tonight in the opener against the Braves. He'll be trying to further distance himself from a run of drudgery (for fans and himself alike). The team last faced Atlanta during the hell week that opened 2019. Lester faced off against Teheran and got a no-decision, pitching six innings and allowing two earned runs. Swanson and Albies tagged him for solo homeruns in that game. Most recently Lester worked his way to a win against the White Sox, going 5.2 and yielding three earned runs. His strikeouts and walks have been fine lately; it's the longball he'll have to avoid to return to form. Freddie Freeman is 6-22 against Lester with two homeruns and ten strikeouts. Nick Markakis has 92 at bats against him and an OPS of .586.

Cubs vs. Mets: Series Thread (Games 74-77)

Willson Contreras resuscitated the Cubs offense last night. They'll try to keep the juices flowing in a 4-game series against the Mets. Said Metropolitans enter town at a disappointing 35-39 mark and 2-5 over their last two series. Their offense is just a tick above average by wRC+ (barely behind the Cubs at the moment) and the pitching staff is 4th worst in the majors by ERA-. First baseman Pete Alonso has been the season's pleasant surprise, mashing 24 homeruns before the midpoint in his debut season. Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard remain good but look far more mortal than past iterations. They lost Yoenis Cespedes to an ankle injury that will prevent him from appearing at all this year. Meanwhile, the Cubs have called up Adbert Alzolay to help out of the bullpen while Hendricks and the training staff navigate his shoulder impingement. See below for daily matchups.

Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Cubs vs. White Sox: Hamels vs. Nova (Game 72)

CHC (39-32): LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

CHW 3(34-36): RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA)

First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs return home to take on their cross-city rivals. They remain 0.5 games behind Milwaukee with the Cards lagging an additional two games behind the Cubs. Cole Hamels made his third start without an earned run, going seven innings with 9 strikeouts in Colorado last time out. Few White Sox have seen much of him. Jon Jay and his 13 at-bats are on the IL. Jose Abreu is 4-9 with a homerun off of him. Hamels has been a tremendous groundball pitcher this year, and the White Sox have the second highest GB% behind the Marlins--that may provide some incentive for Maddon to start his best defensive infield. The general impatience of the Sox lineup should play to Hamels' favor, although he seems to have harnessed his command of late.

Cubs @ Dodgers: Series Thread (Games 68-71)

Just as the Cubs acclimate to the atmosphere at Coors, they skip off to Cally for a four-game set against the dangerous Dodgers. Having pitched a gem in the stopper role on Wednesday, Hamels will take his place in the cheering section for this one, and the rest of the rotation will get a chance to show their stuff. Good news for them is that the first three of the series will be night games, which may help them keep the ball in the yard. Quintana will have to work his way through the Sunday afternoon game. The bad news for everyone is that the Dodgers feature the most productive offense without a DH (ahead of the Cubs, who are now second in the NL in wRC+). On the other side of the ball, the LA squad may have the best defense in all of baseball, and their pitching is near the top in the NL. With the Dodgers (45-23) leading the NL in wins, any match with them will look like a post-season preview, as long as the other team is contending. The Cubs (38-29) come into the series 0.5 behind Milwaukee.

Matchups after the break.

Cubs @ Colorado: Hamels vs. Senzatela

CHC (37-29): LHP Cole Hamels (5-2, 3.24 ERA)
COL (35-31): RHP Antonio Senzatela (5-4, 4.95 ERA)
First pitch 2:10pmCDT

Cole Hamels and the altitude-sick Cubs will try to salvage a game from this trash-fire series before they have to take on the NL best Dodgers in LA. Hamels was fantastic against the Cards last time, going eight shutout innings and collecting 10 strikeouts to three hits and a walk. It was his best start of the season so far, and a continuation of his being one of the best things to happen to the Cubs in the last year. He's made six career starts in Coors and has fared OK there, holing opponents to a .310 OBP. He's held current Rockies to a .710 OPS in in 165 at bats, but some key players (Dahl, Story) have never faced him.

Pages