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San_diego_padres_logoThe Cubs will have to shake off yesterday’s horrible loss on the flight out to San Diego. The bullpen is probably mighty taxed at this point, and Jake Arrieta starts the first game – he’ll need to go deeper than he has been going, or the whole series could get dicey.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs were within a couple outs of winning four in a row, but yesterday’s loss scuttled that. They’re back to being 12 games under .500, and they are effectively tied with the Astros for the worst record in baseball.

The Padres, five games under .500, and ahead of only the Diamondbacks in the NL West, were just swept in two by the Twins. They lost two of three to the Rockies before that, and are decidedly cool after a relatively warm start to the season.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Thursday, May 22 at 9:10 CT on CSN.
  • Friday, May 23 at 9:10 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, May 24 at 9:10 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, May 25 at 3:10 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.

Cubs

Starters: Jake Arrieta (2.70 ERA, 2.91 FIP; 1.63 K/BB), Edwin Jackson (3.98 ERA, 3.01 FIP; 2.45 K/BB), Travis Wood (4.61 ERA, 3.60 FIP; 2.83 K/BB), Jason Hammel (2.91 ERA, 3.22 FIP; 3.77 K/BB)

Lineup (with obvious rotations in place):

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Mike Olt, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Padres

Starters: Eric Stults (4.50 ERA, 4.93 FIP; 2.63 K/BB), Robbie Erlin (4.53 ERA, 3.27 FIP; 3.55 K/BB), Donn Roach (3.75 ERA, 4.02 FIP; 1.30 K/BB), Ian Kennedy (3.79 ERA, 2.76 FIP; 4.71 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Everth Cabrera, SS
  2. Seth Smith, RF
  3. Carlos Quentin, LF
  4. Yonder Alonso, 1B
  5. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
  6. Cameron Maybin, CF
  7. Yasmani Grandal/Rene Rivera, C
  8. Pitcher
  9. Alexei Amarista, 3B

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Anthony Rizzo is definitely slumping over his last 16 games, posting just a .661 OPS. But it’s a pretty great slump, all things considered, because his OBP is still a robust .373 during that stretch (what up, Joey Votto). Mostly it’s just been a power drought – he’s had just one double and one homer over those 16 games.

Junior Lake is super hot. He’s hitting .339/.350/.571 over his last 17 games, and he’s struck out just 16 times in his last 60 plate appearances (26.67% – not great, but, for him, totally take-able).

Don’t look for Andrew Cashner in this one. The former Cub, which the team sent out for Rizzo, is laid up with a bum elbow. How’s the trade looking right now, eh?

Speaking of trades, the Padres got Ian Kennedy from the Diamondbacks in the offseason after he struggled to be the guy he was a few years ago, and he’s been brilliant in the early going for San Diego.

Seth Smith is clearly loving life as a Padre, hitting .339/.437/.598 with a .444(!) wOBA. He’s a free agent after this year, by the way, and he’ll be 32 next year.

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