Series Preview: Cubs at Blue Jays, August 29 - August 31, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Blue Jays, August 29 – August 31, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are headed north of the border for a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Justin Steele and Adrian Sampson will stay behind on the restricted list, while Jeremiah Estrada and Brendon Little will be joining the team for the journey (without being added to the 40-man roster).

After this series, the Cubs finally have a scheduled day off (their first since August 12), before facing the Cardinals again (for the last time this season). They have an off-day on the far side of that series, as well, before returning to Wrigley Field for a six-game homestand against the Reds and Giants.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (55-73) have officially cooled off with back-to-back series losses to the Cardinals and Brewers. They’re currently 8th in the reverse standings, with just a 3.90% chance at the first pick in the draft. The Toronto Blue Jays (68-58) have lost three in a row and are 9.0 games out of first place in the competitive AL East. However, they are holding onto a 1.5 game lead over the Orioles for the final Wild Card spot. They will be playing to win this weekend.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Seiya Suzuki may be turning things around here. In his last 79 plate appearances, the Cubs right fielder is slashing .279/.380/.441 (132 wRC+) with a perfectly reasonable BABIP (.309), an excellent walk rate (11.8%) and a beautifully low strikeout rate (13.9%). The quality of contact has been excellent, as well, with an exit velocity over 90 MPH, a below-average, but still solid 9.6 degree launch angle and a 44% hard hit rate. You’d just LOVE to see this continue the rest of the way.

Nick Madrigal’s BABIP has come back down to Earth (now .313 since his return), but he’s still walking. In fact, he’s walking more than he’s striking out. But the .042 ISO, .324 SLG, 1.7 degree launch angle, and 18.5% hard hit rate are just not good enough. And his line is suffering.

George Springer has had a red-hot couple of weeks, slashing .475/.533/.675 with an equal amount of whiffs and strikeouts. But the rest of the Blue Jays lineup has been pretty mediocre for about a month.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, August 29 at 6:07 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, August 30 at 6:07 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, August 31 at 6:07 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Javier Assad (RHP) vs. Jose Berrios (RHP)
Game 2: Marcus Stroman (RHP) vs. Kevin Gausman (RHP)
Game 3: TBD vs. Mitch White (RHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – P.J. Higgins
  • 2B – Nick Madrigal
  • 3B – Zach McKinstry/Chris Morel
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Chris Morel/Rafael Ortega
  • RF – Seiya Suzuki
  • DH – Franmil Reyes

Injured/Unavailable: Patrick Wisdom, Wade Miley, Keegan Thompson, Steven Brault, Adbert Alzolay, Codi Heuer, Michael Hermosillo, Ethan Roberts, Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck

Restricted List: Justin Steele, Adrian Sampson

Toronto Blue Jays:

  • C – Danny Jansen
  • 1B – Vladito
  • 2B – Whit Merrifield
  • 3B – Matt Chapman
  • SS – Bo Bichette
  • LF – Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • CF – George Springer
  • RF – Teoscar Hernandez
  • DH – Alejandro Kirk

Injured/Unavailable: Nate Pearson, Tayler Saucedo, Julian Merryweather, Hyun Jin Ryu

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -86
Blue Jays: +48

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.13
Blue Jays: 4.64

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.80
Blue Jays: 4.26

Author: Michael Cerami

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