I know the Cardinals’ sweep still feels good, but we – like the Cubs – have to keep our heads down and keep moving forward. After all, times were “dire” just four days ago.
Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are kicking off a three-game set against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field. And although we’d normally love the Cubs chances against the 24-31 Marlins, it’s worth pointing out that they’ve won eight of their past ten games including their last three straight against a very good D-backs team.
And worse, as we discovered in the Series Preview earlier today, the Marlins’ offense has been pretty terrifying. Given that the rotation has been one of the Cubs’ biggest weaknesses, you don’t necessarily love this matchup.
Even still, Eddie Butler will give it another go for the Cubs, after looking mostly lost in every start since his solid debut for the Cubs back at the beginning of May. Unfortunately, the Cubs do not own an endless supply of games they can just give to Butler. So sooner or later, he’s going to have to deliver.
With that, I’ll remind you: The short (and long!) term value to the organization of Butler finding his groove as soon as possible is absolutely enormous.
Starting opposing Butler is former Cub Dan Straily. Since leaving the Cubs, Straily has pitched in the big leagues with the Astros (2015), Reds, (2016), and Marlins (2017), but is having his best season this year. In fact, with a good enough start tonight, he can match the total amount of fWAR he earned in 2016 (1.2).
He’s very split neutral for his career, but has actually been bitten by righties a lot more this season than before. In fact, that could be why Albert Almora ultimately got the start over Ian Happ in center field. (Yes Happ is a switch hitter, but did admit that he feels more comfortable from the left side of the plate). In any case, Straily is still a beatable pitcher and possibly even one in which the Cubs front office has plenty of information.
My objective, statistical prediction on the Cubs/Marlins series this week: pic.twitter.com/2Q2LZZHipO
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 5, 2017
Use it, take advantage, win. Come on, Cubbies. Let’s make it four in a row.
Miami Marlins (24-31) at Chicago Cubs (28-27) – 7:05 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: Eddie Butler (R): 4.42 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 4.98 xFIP; 1.08 K/BB
Marlins: Dan Straily (R): 3.56 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 4.50 xFIP; 2.56 K/BB
- Dee Gordon, 2B
- Giancarlo Stanton, RF
- Christian Yelich, CF
- Marcell Ozuna, LF
- J.T. Realmuto, C
- Derek Dietrich, C
- Tyler Moore, 1B
- Tom Riddle, Seeker
- Dan Straily, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javier Baez, SS
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Eddie Butler, P
- Kyle Schwarber, LF