Series Preview: Rockies at Cubs, September 16 – September 18, 2022

Yessir. The Cubs just swept the Mets *in NEW YORK*, and remain in third place of the NL Central. Of course, while the winning is fun, the more relevant standings measure for now is the reverse standings for purposes of the 2023 MLB Draft Lotto.

As of today, the Cubs are tied for 9th with the Los Angeles Angels, which gives them just a 3.9% shot at the first pick in the draft. And unfortunately (depending on your perspective), the Cubs have separated themselves from the tier ahead of them, with the Marlins holding a 2.5 game “lead” for 7th in the draft lotto pecking order (5.5% odds) while the Reds hold a 4.0 game lead for 6th (7.5%). Kansas City’s 4.5 game lead over the Cubs is out of reach, and that’s where the odds really jump (10%).

But that brings us to this series against the Rockies.

Colorado (11th) is actually just 1.0 game behind the Cubs in the reverse standings, alongside Texas. That means the Cubs could drop as many as 3-4 spots in the order with a couple of wins this weekend, which really drags their lotto odds down (1.40%).

But I’m not too worried about it. The Cubs have been winning, they’ll still land a relatively high draft pick, and this offseason is all about turning the page with spending on MLB-caliber talent anyway. Just keep winning.

The Cubs have just 19 games left this season, only nine of which are at Wrigley Field, including these three against the Rockies this weekend.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (61-82) just won three in a row and are officially over .500 in the second-half of the season (26-25). It’s wild.

The Colorado Rockies (62-81) have won six of their past ten games, splitting a two-gamer with the Sox, taking two of three against the Diamondbacks, and winning a series against the Brewers. It’s been a nice stretch for them, frankly.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

I’m desperate to find out how Nico Hoerner (triceps) and Seiya Suzuki (left hand/wrist) are doing. Both are critical long-term pieces for the Cubs who could use as many reps before the end of the season as possible (to say nothing of their impact on winning any of these games). Remember, Suzuki, in particular, had been red-hot, slashing .299/.373/.472 (138 wRC+) since August 9 (142 PAs).

Marcus Stroman came back from the IL with his hair on fire (1.67 ERA over his first five starts), but has been all over the place in his seven starts since then: Two have been *excellent* (Cardinals, Brewers), three have been pretty horrible (Cardinals, Giants, Nations), and two have mediocre (Nationals, Blue Jays). He’s another guy who factors into the Cubs plans prominently next season, so I’d like to see him finish strong. Not many starts left.

Gotta give love to Javier Assad, who’ll start Sunday’s game against the Rockies, for keeping the Mets to just 1 earned run over six innings *in New York.* He’s had a very impressive start to his big league career so far.

Kris Bryant has been on the injured list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot since July 31. And although he has been ramping up lately, the Rockies are still only HOPING he’ll make it back before the end of the year:

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, September 16 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, September 17 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, September 18 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Pitching Probables

    Game 1: German Márquez (RHP) vs. Marcus Stroman (RHP)
    Game 2: Jose Ureña (RHP) vs. Wade Miley (LHP)
    Game 3: Ryan Feltner (RHP) vs. Javier Assad

    Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Yan Gomes
  • 1B – P.J. Higgins/Jared Young
  • 2B – Zach McKinstry
  • 3B – Chris Morel
  • SS – Nico Hoerner(?)
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Nelson Velázquez
  • RF – Seiya Suzuki(?)
  • DH – Franmil Reyes
  • Injured/Unavailable: Willson Contreras, Nick Madrigal, Keegan Thompson, Steven Brault, Justin Steele, Adbert Alzolay, Codi Heuer, Ethan Roberts, Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck, Rafael Ortega

    Colorado Rockies:

  • C – Brian Serven
  • 1B – C.J. Cron
  • 2B – Brendan Rodgers
  • 3B – Ryan McMahon
  • SS – Alan Trejo
  • LF – Yonathan Daza
  • CF – Randal Grichuk
  • RF – Michael Toglia
  • DH – Charlie Blackmon
  • Injured/Unavailable: Kris Bryant, Jose Iglesias, Antonio Senzatela, Lucas Gilbreath, Scott Oberg, Helcris Olivarez, Ryan Rolison, Tyler Kinley

    By the Numbers

    Run Differential:
    Cubs: -96
    Rockies: -134

    Runs Scored Per Game:
    Cubs: 4.08
    Rockies: 4.48

    Runs Allowed Per Game:
    Cubs: 4.75
    Rockies: 5.41

    written by

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

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