Each of the Cubs’ first three series this season were decided in the final game (including, now, today).
Here’s hoping this one turns out like the last two.
But if the Cubs going to win, the offense will really need to start showing up. It’s still very early and this lineup is very strong, but the Cubs’ offense right is posting just a .306 wOBA (bottom ten in MLB). Similarly, their 87 wRC+ indicates that, as a whole, their offensive production has been about 13% worse than average.
And the two biggest (qualified) offenders so far are Addison Russell (72 wRC+) and Anthony Rizzo (60 wRC+). Each of Jason Heyward (102), Kris Bryant (105), Willson Contreras (107), Ben Zobrist (110), and Kyle Schwarber (121) are above average contributors at the moment, but none are totally blowing things out.
Making his second career start for the Cubs (and first at Wrigley Field) today, is left-hander Brett Anderson. His first start (5.2 IP, 5H, 1ER, 1BB, 4Ks) wasn’t a lengthy one, but it was a solid start to his Cubs career. If he delivered a similar performance today, you’d take it. Once again, be on the lookout for lots of ground balls (that’s sorta his thing), because if he’s getting those early, it could shape up for a good day.
Opposing Anderson and the Cubs is fellow south-paw Hyun-Jin Ryu. As Brett mentioned earlier, Ryu has actually been better against righties than lefties for his career but 1) the sample isn’t actually all that large and 2) there are almost no usable stats since 2014. Javy Baez has performed markedly better against left-handers (111 wRC+) for his career, so hopefully he can take advantage of the match-up today.
There’s nothing like afternoon baseball, is there?
Chicago Cubs (5-3) at Los Angeles Dodgers (5-4) – 1:20 on CSN-C, MLBN, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this evening.
Cubs: Brett Anderson (L): Almost no sample in 2016. Read this for more on Anderson
Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Ryu (L): Almost no sample since 2014.
Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup:
- Logan Forsythe, 2B
- Corey Seager, SS
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Scott Van Slyke, 1B
- Yasmani Grandal, C
- Trayce Thompson, CF
- Enrique Hernandez, LF
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Brett Anderson, P