Admit it: You’re excited that the Yankees are coming to town.
Aside from the excitement surrounding Starlin Castro’s return to Chicago, there’s something especially cool about playing the Yankees at Wrigley Field that goes beyond the fact that it just doesn’t happen that often. These two organization share over 250 years of combined history, and although there hasn’t been a similar level of success over the years, I’m looking forward to that gap continuing to close.
To kick off the weekend series at Wrigley Field, Kyle Hendricks takes the mound for the Cubs after arguably his two best starts of the season in Pittsburgh and Boston. In each effort, Hendricks lasted 6.0 innings and has allowed just two runs total. He’s walked five batters over those games, but has struck out nine as well. Hendricks may never be as good as he was last season, but I’m very confident that he’s better than his overall season numbers look today.
The Yankees are a tough match-up, but Hendricks is a smart pitcher. Let’s see if he can nibble successfully and confound his way to another win.
I’d also just like to quickly point something out Jon Jay, who gets the start in center field today. He’s been quite good, my friends:
Unsung Hero: Jon Jay.
He's slashing .362/.464/.447 in limited duty this season, with a 14.0% BB-rate and 19.3% K-rate.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) May 5, 2017
Starting for the Yankees is right-hander Michael Pineda. Pineda’s 32.2% strikeout rate and 3.5% walk rate this season have given him the league’s fourth best K/BB ratio (9.25). With just a .234 batting average against to boot (with a perfectly typical .304 BABIP) he’s looking pretty solid. And to really drive this home, he’s actually been unlucky with his HR/FB ratio (20.8%), and isn’t getting all that lucky with sequencing either (78.3% LOB rate) – it’s on the high side, but not crazily so (especially for a guy who is striking out 1/3 of the guys who come up).
It’ll be a tough match-up, but another series win this weekend against a very tough Yankees team could really help the Cubs assert their lead in the Central.
Chicago Cubs (16-12) at New York Yankees (17-9) – 1:20 CT on CSN-C, 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 today.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 4.18 ERA, 5.08 FIP, 4.29 xFIP; 1.83 K/BB
Yankees: Michael Pineda (R): 3.14 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 2.27 xFIP; 9.25 K/BB
New York Yankees:
- Brett Gardner, LF
- Aaron Hicks, CF
- Gary Sanchez, C
- Starlin Castro, 2B
- Aaron Judge, RF
- Did Gregorius, SS
- Chase Headley, 3B
- Chris Carter, 1B
- Michael Pineda, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
- Jon Jay, CF