The Chicago Cubs will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chicago tonight to play the first game of a four-game series. These two teams actually matched up against each other last week in Arizona with the Cubs winning two of the three games to win the series.
There’s nothing like a trip to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers to kill a winning streak, and that is exactly what happened to the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks had been playing really well winning 12 of their last 17 games at one point. However, they lost their series to the Cubs for the first time in a while, then they were swept in four games against the Dodgers. They have now lost six straight games and seven of their last eight games overall.
The Cubs on the other hand are starting to heat up after their cold streak to start the season. They have won four of their last five games and six of their last nine games overall. That includes road series wins over the Padres and Diamondbacks, as well as a home series win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Zac Gallen has pitched extremely well to start the season, including a 6 inning, 1 earned run performance against the Cubs in his last start. Usually seeing a starting pitcher for the second time in one week gives the advantage to the hitters though. Gallen is very good, but he is more than due for some regression, and I think that should come on the road in a game like today where the wind is blowing out. The Diamondbacks also have one of the worst bullpens in the league behind him. The Diamondbacks are ranked third worst in the league in bullpen ERA.
My main worry tonight is Marcus Stroman will be making his first start in 18 days after presumably being on the COVID IL. Apparently, he has been able to stay built up and sharp, but you never really know until he sees game action. He did however pitch his best game of the season in his start before going on the IL. He is also a groundball pitcher, so in a game like today where the wind is blowing out at Wrigley, keeping the ball on the ground will be critical. The Diamondbacks have also seemed to be doing most of their damage on the home run ball lately, considering they aren’t able to string a bunch of hits together. I think the wrong team is favored here, I like the Cubs to stay hot.