Fresh off a sweep of the Pirates, the Cubs welcome the stumbling Royals to Wrigley field for two quick games, before heading out on the road to play … the Royals for two quick games. Because they’re back-to-back, we’ll treat this as one long four-game series – and note it’s the last time these two teams will meet this year.
Following these four games, the Cubs are supposed to go to St. Louis to play three against the Cardinals with an off-day on Monday, but as of now, Jon Lester does not see that happening. We’ll see.
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (7-2) just swept the Pirates and have won 7 of their first 9 overall. They have the best record in the National League, and are behind only the Yankees (7-1) in MLB. With that said, their +10 run differential is only 7th best. I could use some more convincing wins (or fewer bullpen meltdowns).
The Kansas City Royals (3-7) were just swept by the White Sox, after splitting two of four with the Tigers and dropping two of three to the Indians. It’s been a very slow start in Kansas City, and we’re hoping the Cubs keep it that way.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
• Monday, August 3rd at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
• Tuesday, August 4th at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
• Wednesday, August 5th at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
• Thursday, August 6th at 6:07 on FOX, 670 The Score
Game 1: Danny Duffy (L) v. Alec Mills (R)
Game 2: Brady Singer (R) v. Kyle Hendricks (R)
Game 3: TBD v. Yu Darvish (R)
Game 4: TBD v. Tyler Chatwood
• C – Willson Contreras
• 1B – Anthony Rizzo
• 2B – Nico Hoerner
• 3B – David Bote
• SS – Javy Baez
• LF – Kyle Schwarber
• CF – Ian Happ
• RF – Jason Heyward
• DH – Victor Caratini
Unavailable: Kris Bryant (?), Jose Quintana, Brad Wieck, Daniel Descalso, James Norwood
Kansas City Royals
• C – Salvador Perez
• 1B – Ryan O’Hearn
• 2B – Nicky Lopez
• 3B – Maikel Lopez
• SS – Adalberto Mondesi
• LF – Alex Gordon
• CF – Whit Merrified
• RF – Bubba Starling
• DH – Jorge Soler
Unavailable: Mike Montgomery, Kelvin Gutierrez, Randy Rosario, Brad Keller, Nicky Lopez, Chance Adams, Hunter Dozier
Keep An Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks opened the season with a complete game shutout at Wrigley Field, but followed it up with a bit of a clunker on the road in Cincinnati. There are a million other legitimate and largely unconcerning reasons why he may have had such a bad second start, but I can’t help pointing out the home/road issues from last season. In 92.2 home innings last year, Hendricks had a 2.04 ERA with a 23.1 K% and 3.7 BB%. But in 84.1 road innings, he had a 5.02 ERA with an 18.1 K% and 5.1 BB%. Batters also hit .290 off Hendricks on the road with 40.1% hard contact compared to .206 and 26.8% at home. He’s starting at Wrigley Field tomorrow, so we won’t really get a great answer to our questions, but I hope twirls a gem on the road some time soon to put this nonsense to rest.
Cubs Player: Ian Happ has been absolutely dominating this year, with an early-season slash line of .286/.375/.679 (183 wRC+), including a 12.5% walk rate and 28.1% strikeout rate (which is still elevated, but down for his career and certainly in the acceptable range given his level of production).
Ian Happ is slashing .286/.375/.679 (183 wRC+) so far, by hitting the ball hard, in the air, up the middle, and striking out less.
2020 Numbers (Career numbers)
– 47.4% hard-hit rate (35.6%)
– 36.8 GB% (40.3%)
– 28.1 K% (32.4%)
– 52.6 Cent% (35.1%)
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) August 3, 2020
Royals Pitcher: Greg Holland is actually having a nice start to the season, which began with five straight scoreless innings before surrendering a couple of runs to the White Sox in his sixth appearance yesterday. He’s struck out 7 batters already and has generated a ton of ground balls along the way. The command isn’t perfect yet, so the Cubs best bet would be to remain patient against him, should they meet him in a high-leverage spot.
Royals Player: Jorge Soler has continued to smash baseballs, this year slashing .278/.395/.500 (155 wRC+) with a massive 47.8% hard-hit rate and the 14th highest overall average exit velocity this season.