Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, August 31 - September 2, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, August 31 – September 2, 2018

Chicago Cubs

Well, the Cubs won’t get to see Jake Arrieta this weekend, but they will be honored with the presence of 2018 NL Cy Young candidate (and likely finalist), Aaron Nola. This is the second such pitcher the Cubs have faced in a week (Jacob deGrom), but they came out on top the first time, so why not again?

Sadly, with Nick Pivetta going tonight and Zach Eflin tomorrow, the Cubs won’t get to see Arrieta this weekend (and it’s a real shame … because he’s allowed 8 earned runs in his last 9.0 IP). Then again, Arrieta has a way of showing up when the moment calls for it, and I think pitching against the Cubs would call for it. Yeah, maybe I’m glad he won’t pitch this weekend.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (79-54) won their makeup game last night against the Braves and they’re now 10 games into this 23-game stretch with an 8-2 record. That’s a great start.

The Philadelphia Phillies (71-62) just dropped two of three against the Nationals after doing the same thing against the Blue Jays. If they don’t turn things around very soon – let’s say starting on Monday – they may risk missing out on the postseason altogether.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Friday, August 31st at 6:05 CT on CSN-C, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, September 1st at 6:05 CT on CSNC, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, September 2nd at 12:35 CT on WGN, TBS, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jose Quintana (4.33 ERA, 4.74 FIP; 1.93 K/BB)
  • Kyle Hendricks (3.86 ERA, 4.00 FIP; 3.45 K/BB)
  • Jon Lester (3.67 ERA, 4.78 FIP; 2.13 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

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

Unavailable: Tyler Chatwood, Yu Darvish, Drew Smyly, Brandon Morrow, Brian Duensing, Addison Russell, Justin Hancock

Philadelphia Phillies

Probable Pitchers:

  • Nick Pivetta (4.76 ERA, 3.61 FIP; 4.26 K/BB)
  • Zach Eflin (3.99 ERA, 3.82 FIP; 3.77 K/BB)
  • Aaron Nola (2.10 ERA, 2.62 FIP; 3.77 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Wilson Ramos
  • 1B – Carlos Santana
  • 2B – Cesar Hernadez
  • 3B – Maikel Franco
  • SS – Asdrubal Cabrera
  • LF – Rhys Hoskins
  • CF – Odubel Herrera
  • RF – Nick Williams

Unavailable: Justin Bour, Austin Davis, Aaron Loup, Edubray Ramos, Jerad Eickhoff, Pedro Florimon

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks has struck out just 8 batters in his last two starts combined (and that’s 14.0 innings pitched) despite striking out 7 or more batters in three of the four games before that. He’s continued to keep the walks WAY under control, though, so hopefully he can keep that going this weekend.

Cubs Player: Kris Bryant will be the one to watch this weekend, as soon as he returns. And we all know why. Good luck, man. I hope that new two-handed swing works.

Phillies Pitcher: Aaron Nola is the Cubs’ treat on Sunday, and the second legitimate NL Cy Young candidate the Cubs will face in two series (Jacob deGrom). Nola has been a contact management king this summer and has gone 7.0 or more innings in 7 of his last 11 outings. He’s gone fewer than 6.0 innings just once during that stretch. Yeesh. Where’s Jake? We want Jake!

Phillies Player: Rhys Hoskins had been on fire in the second half of the season (151 wRC+), but has cooled off lately. In fact, over his last 102 plate appearances, Hoskins has slashed just .195/.304/.391 (89 wRC+). Think about how good his first two weeks after the break must’ve been for that second-half wRC+ to remain at 151.

Author: Michael Cerami

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