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arizona diamondbacks logoThe Cubs come out of the break rested, refreshed, and in last place. The Diamondbacks, whom the Cubs will face, are also those things.

These two teams haven’t played since the series of the 100th Anniversary Game – remember that one? I’m actually impressed at how well we have collectively forgotten how horribly, frustratingly, painfully awful that loss was. Happy Friday!

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs won just twice in the week before the break – i.e., the week after trading Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Those two things don’t really have as much of a relationship with each other as you might think, but it’s certainly a line of demarcation.

The Diamondbacks went into the break winners of four of their last seven, which is like the minimum required to have a happy streak.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, July 18 at 8:40 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, July 19 at 7:10 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, July 20 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: Edwin Jackson (5.64 ERA, 4.26 FIP; 1.98 K/BB), Travis Wood (4.96 ERA, 4.29 FIP; 1.85 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (1.95 ERA, 2.14 FIP; 3.86 K/BB)

Lineup (trying to slot Alcantara in there without losing Ruggiano or Coghlan):

  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/CF (?)
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  6. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  7. Justin Ruggiano, CF (?) Barney (?)
  8. Welington Castillo, C
  9. Pitcher

Diamondbacks

Starters: Trevor Cahill (5.66 ERA, 4.15 FIP; 1.76 K/BB), Wade Miley (4.18 ERA, 3.96 FIP; 3.11 K/BB), Josh Collmenter (3.80 ERA, 3.97 FIP; 2.32 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Ender Inciarte, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Mark Trumbo, LF (Cody Ross rotates in, too)
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Gerardo Para, RF
  7. Aaron Hill, 2B
  8. Nick Ahmed, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Jake Arrieta. Jake Arrieta. Jake Arrieta.

Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood are coming off brutally bad first halves. Starting things off right in this series would, perhaps, help right the ship a little.

Chris Coghlan is crazy hot of late, but you can go all the way back to June 1, and he’s at .313/.398/.574.

Starlin Castro had a great first half, but he slumped a bit there at the end, hitting .143/.225/.143 over his last nine. But that includes four walks and just six strikeouts (.167 BABIP), so it’s not like he was actually struggling. Just not getting the results.

The Diamondbacks, as you might expect, have been a veritable wasteland of disappointment and underperformance, starting at the top with the guy on the mound tonight. Trevor Cahill is back in the bigs by way of an extended tour of the minors to try and get back on track. I was never a huge fan, to be honest, and I regard (did at the time, too) that trade with the A’s (for, in large part, Jarrod Parker – TJS notwithstanding, he had enormous value at the time) as one of the worst in recent memory. Come to think of it, most of the others that would fit on that list were Diamondbacks trades …

Ender Inciarte has an awesome name, but he doesn’t have an OBP to match (.266 in 176 plate appearances this year (.344 in the minors)). But he leads off regularly for the Diamondbacks these days because he’s fast and, presumably, really gritty. Dat name tho.

The primary exception for the Diamondbacks, of course, is Paul Goldschmidt who continues to destroy the ball with regularity.

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