With their 6-2 win over the Braves last night (and the Red Sox 6-2 loss), the Cubs have jumped up another spot in the run differential standings.
Their +94 run differential is now fourth best in the National League (Dodgers, Nationals, D-Backs) and seventh best in all of MLB. Further, based on the number of runs the Cubs have scored/allowed this season, their Pythagorean record is actually 76-57, meaning that the Cubs should probably have about three more wins than they actually do.
The Brewers, on the other hand, should have about one fewer win than they do this season. Can you imagine how much different the final month of this season would look if the Cubs were 7.5 games up on the Brewers instead of the 3.5 games up they are now?
Digression aside, the Cubs will take on the Braves this afternoon in the second of their four-game series. John Lackey is on the mound for the Cubs, after a couple of seemingly troubling outings in a row. Of course, as Brett explored (and Lackey suggested), that most recent start may not have been quite as bad as it appeared.
Opposing Lackey and the Cubs, is righty Mike Foltynewicz. We discussed Foltynewicz’s splits in the lineup post earlier today, and, as you can probably guess by the Cubs order, he’s much weaker against lefties.
Foltynewicz allowed just one earned run in his last start (against Colorado), but in the three starts before that, woof, he was bad: 11.2 IP, 20(!) earned runs, 9 BBs, 9Ks. Hopefully, the Cubs jump on him early and guarantee themselves a split with the Braves.
Chicago Cubs (73-60) at Atlanta Braves (59-73) – 1:20 CT on WGN, MLBN (out-of-market only), 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: John Lackey (R): 4.98 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 4.61 xFIP; 2.80 K/BB
Braves: Mike Foltynewicz (R): 4.84 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 4.64 xFIP; 2.41 K/BB
- Ender Inciarte, CF
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Matt Kemp, LF
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Kurt Suzuki, C
- Rio Ruiz, 3B
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Mike Foltynewicz, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Alex Avila, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P