It's rivalry time, folks! The redbirds come into town with a 20-11 record and the first spot in the division. This is the first time the two teams will face off in 2019. Despite the gap in their records, the two teams should be matched pretty evenly. The Cards come into the series second in the NL in runs scored, but the Cubs are only 4 runs behind them and trail only the Dodgers in WRC+ and actually lead the NL in WOBA. Both teams also bring tremendous production from the SS position, where Paul DeJong and Javier Baez have each contributed to the offensive resurgence of shortstops across the maors. The Cards have had a slightly better bullpen, but the Cubs have had the edge from starting pitchers. See the pitching matchups below.
2019 Gameday Thread
CHC (15-12): LHP Jon Lester (1-1, 2.37 ERA)
SEA (18-14): LHP Marco Gonzales (5-0, 2.80 ERA)
First pitch 5:40pmCDT
After taking the back-and-forth game one, the Cubs go for a sweep of the short series today. Jon Lester will make his second start coming off of the IL. He showed no signs of rust on 4/25 when he went five innings allowing only one earned run. The veterans Encarnacion and Bruce have faced him in 73 total ABs. Bruce should get the day off, having gone 3-26 against the lefty. Encarnacion is 10-47 but has 3 HRs.
CHC (14-12): LHP Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.16 ERA)
SEA (18-13): RHP Félix Hernández (1-2, 3.91 ERA)
First pitch 9:10pmCDT
The Cubs will face the Mariners for the first time since 2016, and Cole Hamels will lead the way. Hamels' continued success with the Cubs has been fun and looks shockingly sustainable. His last start was a bit below the standard he's set for himself in Chicago. He walked too many to go deep into the game and allowed 3 ER in 5.1 IP against the Dodgers. Jay Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion, and Kyle Seager have seen their fair share of Hamels in the past. But only Seager has produced in that time (.846 OPS against), and he's on the DL recovering from a hand injury. Mitch Haniger is 4-8 with 2 HRs against the lefty. Former Cubs' prospect Dan Vogelbach is off to a red-hot start with the bat and boasts a walk rate just north of 20%.
CHC (13-12): José Quintana (3-1, 3.21 ERA)
ARZ (16-12): Luke Weaver (2-1, 3.33 ERA)
First pitch 3:20pmCDT
Quintana starts the rubber game in search of a 4th straight quality start. He's gone 7 in each of his last three games and stuck out 25 batters while walking only 3 in those 21 innings. Adam Jones has given him trouble in the past. He has 9 hits including 2 homeruns in 17 ABs.
CHC (12-12): RHP Yu Darvish (1-3, 5.96 ERA)
ARZ (16-11): RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 6.67 ERA)
First pitch 7:10pmCDT
Darvish went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs to take a loss against the Diamondbacks last time out. He has yet to get through the 6th inning in a start and has suffered troubles with both walks and homeruns this season. The stuff has been there but the command has not.
CHC (12-11): RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 3.54 ERA)
ARZ (15-11): LHP Robbie Ray (0-1, 3.95 ERA)
First pitch 8:40pmCDT
It's a rematch, following the Cubs 2-1 series win at Wrigley this past weekend. Hendricks got his first win in that series, going 7 IP with 11 strikeouts and generally looking like he'd figured some things out. He allowed only 5 baserunners an was backed by the Cubs offense for 5 runs to beat Merrill Kelly.
CHC (12-10): LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
LAD (15-11): RHP Ross Stripling (1-1, 3.07 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
The Cubs took the second game in a 7-6 victory. Jon Lester comes off the IL to go for the sweep. It's been 17 days Lester tweaked his hamstring, so he's accrued only 14 innings pitched on the season. He'll definitely be raring to go. There are 142 ABs against him spread across various current Dodgers, with AJ Pollock and Enrique Hernandez going 11-27 collectively.