The Chicago Cubs (28-27) will look to remain in the win column this evening when they open a series with the Miami Marlins (24-31) at Wrigley Field, here is our series preview. And be sure to check back for the latest preview on the afternoon of the first game of each series this season.
Previewing the Cubs
After dropping six straight on the road to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, the comfort of the Friendly Confines were calling the Cubs in a big way, and the Cubbies responded with an exciting three-game sweep of the rival St. Louis Cardinals, pushing their record back above the .500 mark for the season.
The home stand continues this evening when they open a three-game tilt with the Miami Marlins, who are actually coming in with some momentum of their own after their weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks that saw starting pitcher Edinson Volquez fire off a no-hitter on Saturday.
The Cubs made it interesting this weekend, putting together a series highlighted by comeback performances, but the most important takeaway was the offensive production that the Cubs saw this past weekend, as they took advantage of the first taste of summer weather in Chicago.
The Cubs will look to continue to put on a lumber display this week against the fish, and Kris Bryant could give them a jump start this evening as the reigning National League MVP has a .571 batting average with a pair of home runs and six RBI against Marlins’ starter Dan Straily. Ian Happ collected a pair of home runs in Sunday’s victory over St. Louis, and the rookie will look to stay hot against Miami this week.
If the Cubs are in need of late game heroics again this series, they could be in luck considering the Marlins bullpen is shaky at best especially towards the back-end of the pen. Kyle Barraclough has struggled to find the strike zone consistently this season for the fish.
Previewing the Marlins
Entering the series riding high after their series with the Diamondback in South Beach this past weekend the Marlins will look to ride that momentum to a couple of upsets versus the defending world champion’ Cubs this week at Wrigley Field.
The Marlins will send Dan Straily to the hill this evening in game one of the series, and that’s a good thing as Straily has won his last three starts. Straily’s slider has been filthy this season, garnering 40 strikeouts and a .186 opposing batting average when he throws it. As I mentioned above, Straily should look to pitch around Kris Bryant, as the Cubs third-baseman seems to have his number, but outside of Bryant, Straily could dominate an offense that has severely under-performed this season.
While Christian Yelich hasn’t quite lived up to expectations to this point in 2017, he owns an impressive .360 batting average against the Cubs in 19 meetings with them to date.
The Marlins will be tossing a trio of sub-three ERA starters against the Cubs this week, and while that didn’t matter much to the Cubs this weekend when they faced Lance Lynn and Mike Leake of the Cardinals, the Marlins will need to have better performances out of their starters given the struggles that their bullpen has experienced to this point. On the other hand, the Cubs have the third lowest bullpen ERA in the National League entering play on Monday.
How to Watch / Listen
Monday: 7:05 pm – CSN-Chicago, WSCR-670AM
Tuesday: 7:05 pm – CSN-Chicago, WSCR-670AM
Wednesday: 7:05 pm – WGN, WSCR-670AM
Dan Straily stays hot and cools off the Cubs on Monday night as the Marlins take game one of the series in a close ballgame before Jake Arrieta gets back on track and out-duels Jeff Locke on Tuesday evening to even up the series at one game each.
In a bullpen match-up after less than stellar starts by Lackey and Urena, the Cubs edge the Marlins to win the rubber-match and capture their second consecutive series victory on the home stand. Ian Happ will continue to adjust this series and trend towards the Happ that we saw when he came up in St. Louis, while Kyle Schwarber will continue to struggle, even at the bottom of the Cubs order.
It’s going to take more than a drop in the order to break this mega slump for the Schwarbino.