Cubs vs Rangers: Series Thread (Games 6-8)
Following a rainout and a scheduled off-day, the Cubs rollover their rotation and return to Wrigley. There, they'll greet the 4-2 Rangers. See below for daily matchups.
Game 6: Friday, April 7, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Marcus Stroman (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
TEX: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
Stroman braved a cold opening day at Wrigley and walked away with a win, 8 strikeouts, and a bunch of outs on the ground over 6 innings.
The 33-year-old Eovaldi signed a two-year contract with the Rangers this offseason. He's coming off a 20-start campaign with the Red Sox in which his velocity was down a tick or two compared to his stellar 2021 season.
Game 7: Saturday, April 8, 3:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Justin Steele (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
TEX: LHP Martin Perez (1-0, 1.59 ERA)
Steele provided the encore to Stroman's opening performance, striking out another 8 over 6 and walking only one along the way. He had a lot of bite on his slider and used it over half the time (compared to a career average around 25%).
Perez returned to the Rangers in 2022 after a three-year absence while he played with the Twins and the Red Sox. 2022 looks like a career year for the veteran lefty. He posted a 2.89 ERA across 32 starts. Perez's strength is inducing ground balls, and he relies on a cutter and changeup as his secondary offerings.
Game 8: Sunday, April 9, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Jameson Taillon (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
TEX: RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 2.84 ERA)
Taillon looked uncomfortable in his first start of the season, and his much discussed new sweeper didn't show a ton of apparent sweep. He struck out only two while allowing seven hits across four innings.
Gray, the former Rockie, made 24 starts in his first season as a Ranger and maintained strong strikeout numbers while keeping his walks per 9 under 3. A mid-nineties fastball and a nasty slider remain his main weapons.