Series Preview: Twins at Cubs, June 29 - July 1, 2018

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Series Preview: Twins at Cubs, June 29 – July 1, 2018

Chicago Cubs

After the best horrible road trip, he Cubs are heading back to Wrigley Field. And not a minute too soon!

This time they’ll take on the Minnesota Twins in three, before finally getting that much-needed off-day on Monday. After that, they’ll stick around Wrigley and face the Tigers for two quick day games, before getting another off-day – so the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.

Let’s see if they can close this long off-day-less streak strong and win some games entering the break.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (44-35) just came off the best 2-6 road trip ever. Obviously things are not going swimmingly right now, but a couple wins against the Twins and suddenly it’s all, “Oooh, the Cubs have won four of six!”

The Minnesota Twins (35-42) just lost two of three to the White Sox on the South Side and are 4-6 in their last 10, with losses in five of their last seven games.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Friday, June 29 at 4:05 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, June 30 at 1:20 CT on ABC-7, MLBN (out-of-market), 670 The Score
  • Sunday, July 1 at 1:20 CT on WGN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Mike Montgomery (3.39 ERA, 3.88 FIP; 2.11 K/BB)
  • Tyler Chatwood (3.95 ERA, 4.92 FIP; 1.02 K/BB)
  • Jon Lester (2.18 ERA, 4.07 FIP; 2.31 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

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

Unavailable: Eddie Butler, Yu Darvish, Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Hancock, Rob Zastryzny, Kris Bryant

Minnesota Twins

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jose Berrios (3.15 ERA, 3.25 FIP; 5.45 K/BB)
  • Adalberto Mejia (2.74 ERA, 2.83 FIP; 3.13 K/BB in 49.1 IP at Triple-A Rochester)
  • Lance Lynn (4.81 ERA, 4.14 FIP; 1.72 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Mitch Garver
  • 1B – Joe Mauer
  • 2B – Brian Dozier
  • 3B –  Eduardo Escobar
  • SS – Ehire Adrianza
  • LF – Eddie Rosario
  • CF – Ryan LaMarre
  • RF – Max Kepler

Unavailable: Byron Buxton, Jason Castro, Ervin Santana, Jorge Polanco

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Even though Jon Lester’s peripherals walked a dangerous tight-rope (as if there is any other type of tight-rope), he was the team’s most valuable pitcher in June. He won all five of his starts and pitched to a 1.13 ERA, even though that came with a 3.69 FIP. Lester posted a 95.2 percent strand rate in June. And while that’s impressive, that regression monster is lurking.

Cubs Player: Javy Baez is slashing .321/.368/.564 with a .488 wOBA and 145 wRC+ in June. And over his last seven days, Baez owns a .480/.481/.880 slash with two homers, four doubles, and eight RBI. Fire emoji. Have you voted for Baez to make the All-Star team yet? Because you should. He deserves it.

Twins Pitcher: Jose Berrios was one of baseball’s best pitching prospects as recently as a few years ago, but has battled control issues since his debut in 2016. It appears as if Berrios has put it all together in the third year of his big league career, dropping his BB% to 4.9% and boosting his K% to 26.9%. He’s a star in the making.

Twins Player: Eddie Rosario leads the Twins in batting average (.309), on-base percentage (.348), slugging percentage (.563), wOBA (.384), and wRC+ (145). Rosario was once behind the likes of Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Kohl Stewart as Twins players on various baseball top-100 prospect lists, but in 2018, the 26-year-old left fielder is in the midst of a breakout season. Remember: development isn’t linear.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.