Analysis Cubs Preview

Red-Hot Cubs Prepare for a Test Against the First-Place Colorado Rockies

The Chicago Cubs (30-28) will look to remain in the win column this evening when they open a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies (38-23) 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

April 15, 2017 – Source: Jon Durr/Getty Images North America

The Cubs enter tonight’s series opener winners of five of their last six games on the current home-stand after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals last weekend, and taking two of three versus the Miami Marlins this week. However, the Cubs got some bad news this afternoon in the form of an MLB investigation into claims of Domestic Violence involving shortstop Addison Russell and his wife. Russell will not be in uniform tonight for the Cubs as the organization cooperates with Major League Baseball and, “allows Russell to work through this.”

In addition to the Russell investigation, the Cubs announced that Kyle Hendricks has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his hand. Hendricks was scheduled to start game two of the series with the Rockies, according to Jesse Rodgers of ESPN, reliever Mike Montgomery will make his first start of the season on Friday in place of Hendricks.

The Cubs offense has come to life this past week, and that’s a good thing because they will need to match a Rockies club that can hit with the best of them.  Five players are hitting above .300 over the course of the last seven days, including Kyle Schwarber who has two doubles, two home runs, and six RBI in his last five games.

Anthony Rizzo is eight for his last 21 with six RBI as well, leading the way for the Cubs offensive resurgence during the first home-stand of June.

The Cubs dropped two of three to the Rockies at Coors Field in early May, including a match-up that saw Rockies’ rookie starting pitcher, German Marquez take a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Kris Bryant laced a double into left field to break up the no-no. Marquez will square off against Mike Montgomery on Friday afternoon, Montgomery’s last start came on September 15 of last season for the Cubs.

Previewing the Rockies

Source: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America

The Colorado Rockies enter this weekend’s four-game tilt at 38-23 on the season, leading the National League West by a pair of games over the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Rockies will rely heavily on their offensive attack this weekend as they will have to outhit the Cubs who are heating up this month and feature Jon Lester on the hill in the opener, and Jake Arrieta on the hill in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

The Rockies are hitting an excellent .317 this season with runners in scoring position, and have five everyday players hitting over .300 on the season, with Nolan Arenado just below that mark at .291 for the season. The Rockies will challenge the Cubs pitching this weekend, and bring some arms of their own into the mix unlike successful Rockies teams in the past.

Tyler Chatwood is the only Rockies starter of the four going in this series that has really struggled this season, and Antonio Senzatela gives the Rockies an excellent chance every time he takes the mound.

Pitching Probables

Thursday: LHP Jon Lester ( 3-3, 3.91) vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood (5-7, 4.60)

Friday: LHP Mike Montgomery (0-3, 2.21)  vs. RHP German Marquez (4-3, 4.53)

Saturday: RHP Eddie Butler (3-1, 3.75) vs. Jeff Hoffman (3-0, 2.61)

Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 4.46) vs. Antonio Senzatela (8-2, 3.56)

How to Watch / Listen

Thursday: 7:05 pm – CSN-Chicago +, WSCR-670AM

Friday: 1:20 pm – CSN-Chicago, WSCR-670AM

Saturday: 1:20 pm – ABC, WSCR-670AM

Sunday: 1:20 pm – WGN, WSCR-670AM

Series Predictions

The Cubs take the opener on Thursday evening as Chatwood continues to struggle, and Lester keeps the Rox in check for the most part. Mike Montgomery struggles in his first start of the season, failing to make it out of the fifth inning, leaving in line for a loss as the Rockies even the series up with a game two victory on Friday afternoon.

Jeff Hoffman and Eddie Butler both toss quality starts keeping the game close before the Rockies win a tight contest with some late game offense against the Cubs bullpen.

Senzatela continues his phenomenal season as the Rockies win another close game to take three four from the Cubs and remain atop the National League West proving that the Cubs aren’t quite where they want to be yet, and highlighting the need to address holes on the roster.  Arrieta pitches well, continuing his recent string of quality starts.

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