Series Preview: Red Sox at Cubs, July 1 - July 3, 2022

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Series Preview: Red Sox at Cubs, July 1 – July 3, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Well, isn’t this a treat? The Cubs won a series last night, scoring 15 runs on 23 hits at Wrigley Field. And today, a Friday, they welcome the Boston Red Sox into Chicago. We all know what this season is and isn’t, but life as a Cubs fan has been worse this year.

Among the good things going on right now? Christopher Morel broke out of his slump in a huge way after being moved out of the leadoff spot (kudos to David Ross for that). Nelson Velázquez and Narciso Crook are in Chicago, Nico Hoerner has been absolutely dominant. Ian Happ just won’t stop getting on base. Willson Contreras is crushing it daily. Yan Gomes has the pitching staff clicking. Justin Steele, Kyle Hendricks, and Keegan Thompson have all delivered multiple good starts in a row. Patrick Wisdom’s numbers are strong. And Seiya Suzuki began his rehab stint with a bang yesterday.

Life would be better if Suzuki, Nick Madrigal, and Brennan Davis were all healthy and hitting in Chicago, but like I said … it’s been worse. And now we get to see some rare Cubs-Red Sox action at Wrigley Field. I’m a happy camper.

That said, boy is the Cubs upcoming schedule tough. They’ll start with three against the Red Sox at home, but then they’re playing seven straight on the road against the Brewers and Dodgers.

There’s an off-day after that and then just six games at Wrigley Field before the All-Star break.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (30-46) just took two of three from the Reds, but they’re still 10-17 in June and 16 games under .500 for the season. The Boston Red Sox (43-33) are ten games over .500, but have the unfortunate position behind the dominant New York Yankees (56-21). Boston holds the top wild card spot, and that may be all they can get this year.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

I cannot wait to watch Keegan Thompson pitch again on Sunday. He’s strung together three really excellent starts in a row against the Braves, Pirates, and Reds, and the last one was even better than the box score looks. He was dominant. The key for him will be figuring out how to last deeper into his own pitch count without first wearing down, because he probably won’t always be as efficient as he was against Cincinnati – especially not when he’s striking out 8 batters!

Alex Verdugo is on another planet right now, with four straight multi-hit games and six multi-hit games during his 10-game hitting streak. And look at this numbers over his last ~150 PAs: .321/.375/.471 (140 wRC+).

Speaking of on another planet, how about Nico Hoerner? Since May 28 (122 PAs), Hoerner is slashing .339/.385/.429 (125 wRC+) while playing excellent defense at shortstop.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, July 1 at 1:20 CT on Apple TV+, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, July 2 at 6:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, July 3 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Rich Hill (LHP) vs. Adrian Sampson (RHP)
Game 2: Josh Winckowski (RHP) vs. Alec Mills (RHP)
Game 3: TBD vs. Keegan Thompson (RHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras/Yan Gomes
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas
  • 2B – Andrelton Simmons
  • 3B – Patrick Wisdom
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Christopher Morel
  • RF – Rafael Ortega/Nelson Velázquez
  • DH – Contreras/Gomes/Ortega/Happ

Injured/Unavailable: David Bote? Michael Hermosillo, Seiya Suzuki, Nick Madrigal, Frank Schwindel, Jason Heyward, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Daniel Norris, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan Roberts

Cincinnati Reds:

  • C – Christian Vázquez
  • 1B – Franchy Cordero
  • 2B – Trevor Story
  • 3B – Rafael Devers
  • SS – Xander Bogaerts
  • LF – Alex Verdugo
  • CF – Jarren Durann
  • RF – Rob Refsnyder
  • DH – J.D. Martinez

Injured/Unavailable: Enrique Hernandez, Matt Barnes, Garrett Whitlock, Nathan Eovaldi, James Paxton, Chris Sale, Josh Taylor

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -66
Red Sox: +60

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.42
Red Sox: 4.79

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.29
Red Sox: 4.00

Author: Michael Cerami

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