Series Preview: Chicago Cubs (10-9) at Cleveland Indians (12-8)

In Series Previews by berselius8 Comments

The Cubs return to the site of their World Series victory in 2016. There's a decent chance of rain in both games of this series, so hopefully Jason Heyward can dust off his rain delay speechifying skills.

Since they're in an AL park, the Cubs get a DH this week. I'm guessing it will be Schwarber with Happ getting time in LF.

Team Leaders

I am still using the teams' 2017 numbers here…maybe I'll switch over when May comes around.


  • OBP: Kris Bryant (.409)
  • ISO: Ian Happ (.261)
  • HR: Anthony Rizzo (32)
  • R+RBI: Rizzo (208)
  • wRC+: Bryant (146)
  • BSR: Bryant (4.8)
  • DRS: Jason Heyward (18)
  • SP K/9: Jose Quintana (10.46)
  • SP BB/9: Quintana (2.24)
  • SP FIP: Quintana (3.25)
  • RP FIP: Carl Edwards Jr (12.75)
  • RP BB/9: Brandon Morrow (1.85)
  • RP FIP: Morrow (1.55)
  • WAR: Bryant (6.7)


  • OBP: Edwin Encarnacion (.377)
  • ISO: Jose Ramirez (.265)
  • HR: Encarnacion (38)
  • R+RBI: Encarnacion (203)
  • wRC+: Ramirez (148)
  • BSR: Bradley ZImmer (8.0)
  • Defense: Francisco Lindor (13.6)
  • SP K/9: Corey Kluber (11.71)
  • SP BB/9: Josh Tomlin (0.89)
  • SP FIP: Kluber (2.50)
  • RP K/9: Andrew Miller (13.64)
  • RP BB/9: Dan Otero (1.35)
  • RP FIP: Miller (1.99)
  • WAR: Kluber (7.3)

Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.

The Indians lost Carlos Santana to free agency, replacing him with Yonder Alonso on a cheap deal. It was their only major signing of the offseason, and they saw a few other significant pieces depart such as Bryan Shaw and Austin Jackson. They're still the best team in the AL Central, though Buxton and the Twins can give them a run for their money.

Injury-wise, the Indians are once again down Danny Salazar, who has missed most of the season with shoulder inflammation. The Cubs will be missing out on Lonnie Chisenhall's defense, as he has been out since 4/8 with a hamstring strain. On the Cubs side, Zobrist is on the DL with back stiffness and Butler was stashed on the DL with a groin strain on Friday. KB seems to cleared of a concussion after getting hit on the head in the Rockies series, and Addison Russell is recovering from an allergic reaction to some stealth shellfish after Sunday's game.

Pitching Probables

Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.

Tuesday: Tyler Chatwood (7.52, 4.47, 0.92), RHP  vs Josh Tomlin, RHP (6.66, 1.21, 4.93),  5:10 PM CT

Anything less than five walks in this game from Chatwood will feel like a victory.

The Cubs remember Tomlin well, as he was the starter of last resort for Cleveland in the World Series after most of the rest of their staff fell victim to a series of random coincidences. He pitches to a ton of contact and gives up a fair chunk of HRs, and just hopes that most of them are solo shots. Many of these players will remember him from two starts in the WS. In the first he somehow lasted 4.1 innings without giving up a run, and allowing just three baserunners before Francona decided to stop pressing his luck and leaned on his plus plus bullpen the rest of the way. When the Cubs saw him again three games later, they wrecked him to the tune of 6 runs in 2.1 innings. Tomlin has made just one appearance in the last few weeks, as he dealt with a back issue and fifth-starter-itis.

Wednesday: Jon Lester, LHP (8.88, 2.63, 3.56) vs Trevor "Drone Strike" Bauer, RHP (9.43, 3.28, 3.95), 6:10 PM CT

Lester turned in his first solid start of the year against the Cardinals, allowing just two hits and one walk in six innings against the Cardinals. Hopefully he can keep that rolling adn go even deeper into this game.

Bauer has gotten off to a solid start to the season, going 7 or more innings in thee of his four starts so far this year. In his best start, he gave up one run in eight innings, striking out seven and allowing just three hits and two walks. He got the loss for that one, because win-loss is dumb. Maybe he'll be playing with his drone and cut himself again, which would probably prompt Cleveland to just throw Josh Tomlin out there again.

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  1. dmick89

    Didn’t Lester have a good start his second start of the season?

    edit: I think he was really good against the Brewers who Joe never lets him pitch against.

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  2. Author


    Yeah, it was the Brewers. His numbers were pretty much identical to the Cardinals start, but somehow the Cardinals one felt more dominant.

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  3. cerulean

    Interesting fact: the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians to win the 2016 World Series, even coming back from a 3-1 deficit!

    Pics or it didn’t happen

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  4. Tyrone

    MLB Pipeline @MLBPipeline
    The #Cubs are considered the favorites to sign RHP Richard Gallardo, OF Jose Lopez and LHP Joel Machado, Nos. 5, 17 & 28 on the Top 30 International Prospects list:

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  5. Berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Almora
    2B Baez
    1B Rizzo
    C Contreras
    3B La Stella
    DH Schwarber
    SS Russell
    RF Heyward
    LF Happ

    P Chatwood

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