Series Preview: Marlins at Cubs, May 7 - May 9, 2018

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Series Preview: Marlins at Cubs, May 7 – May 9, 2018

Chicago Cubs

The Marlins are coming to town. Is that dread or elation?

After a forgettable weekend in St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs are playing host to the Miami Marlins in their second matchup of the season. Their first, you might recall, was a somewhat frustrating four-game series split to open the year, wherein Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, and Jose Quintana all struggled mightily. Kyle Hendricks was pretty good in his start against them, though, and he’ll take the ball tonight in the opener.

As for the Cubs offense, the opening series of the season has since been a perfect microcosm of how things have gone this year. In the first (8 runs) and third games (10 runs), the Cubs scored runs like it was going out of style. And in the second (1 run) and fourth games (0 runs), they acted like it already had. I guess it would be nice to get some of those blowout games going again, though.

The Marlins certainly are a very beatable team, but right now, so are the Cubs.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (16-15) are currently running a five-game losing streak, which could’ve been much uglier had they not eeked out a couple of really close games just before this stretch. This is their longest losing streak of the year, and only one game short of their longest last season.

The Miami Marlins (13-20) don’t have a great record, but they have won two in a row and seven of their past ten. Must be nice.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, May 7 at 7:05 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, May 8 at 7:05 on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, May 9 at 1:20 on WGN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (3.19 ERA, 5.31 FIP; 3.22 K/BB)
  • Yu Darvish (6.00 ERA, 5.09 FIP; 4.08 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (4.99 ERA, 4.65 FIP; 1.69 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Albert Almora/Ian Happ
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

Miami Marlins

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jarlin Garcia (1.09 ERA, 3.73 FIP; 1.77 K/BB)
  • Jose Urena (4.28 ERA, 4.05 FIP; 2.91 K/BB)
  • Wei-Yin Chen (4.82 ERA, 8.51 FIP; 0.83 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – J.T. Realmuto
  • 1B – Justin Bour
  • 2B – Starlin Castro
  • 3B – Martin Prado
  • SS – Miguel Rojas
  • LF – Derek Dietrich
  • CF – Lewis Brinson
  • RF – Brian Anderson

Keep an Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Brian Duensing still hasn’t given up a run this year, through 11.2 innings pitched and 46 batters faced. It’ll happen eventually though, as pretty much all of his peripherals suggest a fair bit of luck (.194 BABIP, 100% strand rate, 0.00% HR/FB ratio, 19.6 K%, 10.9 BB%. But hopefully he can extend this streak as long as possible.

I do want to point out, however, that despite the apparent luck, Duensing does have the 9th lowest hard hit rate in baseball (and a great soft-hit rate). If you’re going to outperform your peripherals, that’s what it would look like.

Cubs Player: Anthony Rizzo had a rough day yesterday and his season numbers still don’t look great, but he is slashing .273/.261/.682 in May, which is good for a 144 wRC+. He still hasn’t taken a walk yet this month, and does have a sac fly, hence the low OBP, but at least he’s showing some signs of life, including three homers and six hits overall in his past five games.

Marlins Pitcher: Wei-Yin Chen has now made two starts this season since being activated from the DL (elbow), but his first went much better than his most recent. Against the Rockies, Chen allowed just four hits and one earned run (a solo homer) over 5.1 IP. But against the Reds on Friday, he lasted just 4.0 innings, walked four, gave up two solo homers and four earned runs.

Marlins PlayerStarlin Castro is currently rocking a .315/.364/.395 slash line (113 wRC+), with the highest walk rate of his career (8.6%). But as you can see, his .081 ISO has led to very few extra base hits, which is tamping down how impactful the production is overall. He’s ultimately having a perfectly fine career, but I suppose, now that he’s 28, he really might never have that one breakout season we all expected back in the day.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami