The Cubs and D-Backs Fight for .500 at Wrigley Field: April 19 - 21, 2019

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The Cubs and D-Backs Fight for .500 at Wrigley Field: April 19 – 21, 2019

Chicago Cubs

Maybe the Pirates, Angels, and Marlins weren’t the toughest opponents around (hey, the Pirates are in first place!), but the Cubs took care of business with six wins in the eight games they played against them. And with the Goldschmidt-less Diamondbacks coming to Wrigley, the Cubs have an opportunity to keep the good times rolling.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (8-9) have won three games in a row, and seven of their last ten. They’re just one game under .500 and could use this weekend to get back at or over the hump for the first time since the second game of the season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (10-9) are only 5-5 in their last 10 games, but that includes four straight wins. They’re in third place out in the West and are just trying to do what they can without Paul Goldschmidt at first.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Friday, April 19th at 1:20 CT on CSC, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, April 20th at 1:20 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, April 21st at 1:20 CT on CSC, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (5.40 ERA, 5.65 FIP; 2.00 K/BB)
  • Yu Darvish (6.11 ERA, 6.90 FIP; 1.20 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (3.43 ERA, 3.20 FIP; 4.14 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

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

Unavailable: Addison Russell (restricted list), Brandon Morrow, Xavier Cedeño, Tony Barnette, Mike Montgomery, Jon Lester, Victor Caratini

Arizona Diamondbacks

Probable Pitchers:

  • Merrill Kelly: 3.79 ERA, 3.84 FIP; 5.67 K/BB
  • Zack Greinke: 5.79 ERA, 5.68 FIP; 7.00 K/BB
  • Robbie Ray: 4.64 ERA, 3.99 FIP; 1.73 K/BB

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Carson Kelly
  • 1B – Christian Walker
  • 2B – Wilmer Flores
  • 3B – Eduardo Escobar
  • SS – Nick Ahmed
  • LF – David Peralta
  • CF – Ketel Marte
  • RF – Adam Jones

Unavailable: Alex Avila, Jake Lamb, T.J. McFarland, Steven Souza Jr., Silvino Bracho, Taijuan Walker

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks will look to put it all together after three straight middling starts to open the season. His last outing against the Angels wasn’t all that bad (5.0 IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 2Ks), but he certainly didn’t take control of that game like we know he can. But if Hendricks does finally get going, the Cubs rotation – which has seen solid performances out of Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, and Cole Hamels over the past several days – may finally have some momentum.

Cubs Player: I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here and guess that this’ll be a big weekend for Anthony Rizzo. He’s facing some tough pitchers, including a lefty on Sunday, but he’s back at his home ball park and should be ready to go. Also, he’s drawing a TON of walks this year, and doesn’t seem to be missing the ball by much.

Diamondbacks Pitcher: Zack Greinke has made four total starts this season, and has an impressive 28.9% strikeout rate and 4.1% walk rate to show for it. Put differently, his 7.00 K/BB ratio is tied with Max Scherzer for 6th best in MLB. And yet, somehow, he’s carrying a 5.79 ERA. How is it happening? An insanely high 33.3% HR/FB ratio. He does allow more hard contact and fly balls than most pitchers, but that’s an unsustainably high number of balls leaving the yard once they’re in the air. So, basically my advice is don’t let that garbage ERA get you drooling. That could still be a very tough matchup for the Cubs.

Diamondbacks Player: Christian Walker (165 wRC+) has been the Diamondbacks top hitter this season, but Adam Jones (156 wRC+) hasn’t been too far behind. Those two have a combined 11 homers on the year and Jones, in particular, has been really tough to strike out. Walker, by contrast, has a strikeout rate north of 30%. In either case, this Diamondbacks team with an imperfect Greinke and no more Paul Goldschmidt is a shell of its former self. Thankfully the Cubs never have to face Goldschmidt ever again.

Author: Michael Cerami

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