The Chicago Cubs have just three more games at home – against the Padres this weekend – before hitting the road for nine straight.
On Sunday, after they hopefully complete their San Diego sweep, the Cubs will fly out to the west coast for a three-game set against the Giants, before coming back to the midwest for three against the Brewers (in Milwaukee), three against the Cardinals (in St. Louis), and then finally three more against the Brewers at home.
That’s a big, important trip coming up against tough teams. So … let’s bank as many wins as we can against sub-.500 squads like the Padres, yes?
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (52-44) have won 5 of their first 6 games in the second-half of the year, largely on the strength of their starting rotation. They have a 2.0 game lead in the NL Central over the Brewers, and are 7 for their last 10.
The San Diego Padres (46-50) are four games below .500 and in last place of the NL West. They’ve dropped 6 of their past 10 games and are just otherwise not quite having the season they hoped for when they signed Manny Machado in the offseason. Brighter days likely lie ahead.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
- Friday, July 19th at 1:20 CT on NBCSCH, MLBN 670 The Score
- Saturday, July 20th at 1:20 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
- Sunday, July 21st at 1:20 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
Game 1: Jon Lester (L) v. Eric Lauer (L)
Game 2: Jose Quintana (L) v. Joey Lucchesi (L)
Game 3: Kyle Hendricks (R) v. Cal Quantrill (R)
- C – Martin Maldonado
- 1B – Anthony Rizzo
- 2B – Robel Garcia(?)
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- SS – Javy Baez
- LF – Kyle Schwarber
- CF – Albert Almora Jr.
- RF – Jason Heyward
Unavailable: Willson Contreras, Carl Edwards Jr., Cole Hamels, Brandon Morrow, Allen Webster, Ben Zobrist
San Diego Padres
- C – Francisco Mejia
- 1B – Eric Hosmer
- 2B – Ian Kinsler
- 3B – Manny Machado
- SS – Fernando Tatis Jr.
- LF – Hunter Renfroe
- CF – Manuel Margot
- RF – Franmil Reyes
Unavailable: Adam Warren, Jose Castillo, Franchy Cordero, Travis Jankowski, Brett Kennedy, Aaron Loup, Jacob Nix, Garrett Richards
Keep An Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: Jose Quintana has delivered three straight quality starts for the Cubs and could be a huge swing factor for the team in the second-half, if he can keep something close to this pace up (particularly while Cole Hamels is still on the shelf). The Padres are just below league average against southpaws this year.
Cubs Player: Javy Baez has not been himself lately, with just a .291/.291/.473 slash line in the month of July. He’s still hitting for average (16 hits) and slugging (4 doubles and 2 homers), but he hasn’t walked at all and has a 27.3% strikeout rate. That amounts to only a 94 wRC+, about 6% worse than the league average hitter. He needs to turn it around soon – especially with Willson Contreras’ bat out of the lineup.
Padres Pitcher: Cal Quantrill just threw 6.0 shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves, allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk against 3 strikeouts. It was the best start of his Major League career so far. Let’s see if the Cubs can’t even that out for him.
Padres Player: Manny Machado is slashing .270/.341/.506 this season, which, with his positive impact on defense makes him a very valuable player … perhaps just not as valuable at the dish as the Padres were hoping. Of course, he’s been red-hot here lately, with a .333/.369/.737 (180 wRC+) slash line since June 13th (his last 122 PAs). Yikes. Careful with Manny.