Series Preview: Cubs at Diamondbacks, May 13 - May 15, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Diamondbacks, May 13 – May 15, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Okay. So the Cubs made it through the gauntlet part of their schedule and can finally come up for a bit of air. The Diamondbacks aren’t quite as bad as they’re supposed to be, but facing Arizona (3 games), Pittsburgh (3), Arizona (4), and Cincinnati (4) is as comfortable as it’s going to get for the Cubs this season. Hopefully, they can build off some of the momentum created in San Diego and take advantage of this weaker stretch of opponents.

Oh, and a reminder: Tonight’s game is the first Cubs Apple TV+ game. That means the game is exclusively on Apple TV+, but anyone can watch it (for free) as long as you have the Apple TV app and an Apple ID to log in. Prepare yourself accordingly.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (9-18) just won a series! Technically their first series win of the year! I’ll take it.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (17-15) went on a bit of a run here. After dropping two of three to the Mets, they took two of three from the Dodgers, split a four-gamer with the Cardinals on the road, swept the Marlins, and took 4 of 6 against the Rockies and Marlins (again). They’ve won 7 of their last 10 and are surprisingly two games over .500

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Will Seiya Suzuki return to action? Who’s going to play shortstop in place of Nico Hoerner? Is Marcus Stroman coming back? What about Justin Steele? If not, who starts on Sunday?

Kyle Hendricks is coming off one of the most dominant starts of his entire career. Can he build off of that success – particularly by continuing to command his fastball down – and start a run? Or will the up-and-down season continue?

Willson Contreras is RED HOT over these last two weeks, slashing .433/.541/.700 in his last 37 PAs. Unfortunately, the only other Cubs hitter with his head over water (> 100 wRC+) during this stretch is Rafael Ortega: .278/.350/.389 (113 wRC+). Even Ian Happ has been struggling, though his obscene walk rate has kept him afloat (17 BBs on the season, t-18th most in MLB).

The Diamondbacks have a trio of hot hitters at the moment: Ketel Marte (204 wRC+), Daulton Varsho (190 wRC+), and Christian Walker (142 wRC+) are all on fire at the plate, and they’re all taking their walks without striking out much.

The Diamondbacks (77 wRC+, 27th in MLB) are one of the worst overall offenses against left-handed pitching this season. So hopefully Steele makes his way back sooner than later.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, May 13 at 8:40 CT on Apple TV+, 670 The Score,
•   Saturday, May 14 at 7:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, May 15 at 3:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Drew Smyly (L) vs. Zach Davies (R)
Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. Zac Gallen (R)
Game 3: TBD vs. Humberto Castellanos (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Jonathan Villar
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Ildemaro Vargas?
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Jason Heyward
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki(?)
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Marcus Stroman, David Robertson, Andrelton Simmons, Alec Mills, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, Michael Hermosillo, Nick Madrigal, Sean Newcomb, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer

Arizona Diamondbacks

•   C – Daulton Varsho
•   1B – Christian Walker
•   2B – Ketel Marte
•   3B – Josh Rojas
•   SS – Nick Ahmed
•   LF – David Peralta
•   CF – Alek Thomas
•   RF – Pavin Smith
•   DH – Cooper Hummel

Unavailable: Luke Weaver, Sean Poppen, Carson Kelly, J.B. Bukauskas

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -13
Diamondbacks: -13

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.00
Diamondbacks: 3.63

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.43
Diamondbacks: 4.03

Author: Michael Cerami

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