The Cubs are back on the road after a bizarre, weather besieged homestand. Hopefully getting into a rhythm will help them get out of their funk of inconsistency and tonight's game looks…dammit.
I'm up in Denver for this series, and while I waited out a 2-3 hour rain delay the last time I was up here somehow I don't think that's in the cards this time around.
Now that the Cubs are facing another team that did not trade 95% of its roster in the offseason, I'll use the teams' 2017 numbers here instead.
- 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: Chuck Blackmon (.399)
- ISO: Nolan Arenado (.277)
- HR: Blackmon/Arenado (37)
- R+RBI: Blackmon (241)
- wRC+: Blackmon (141)
- BSR: Blackmon (2.0)
- DRS: Arenado (20)
- SP K/9: Jon Gray (9.14)
- SP BB/9: Chad Bettis (2.14)
- SP FIP: Gray (3.18)
- RP K/9: Wade Davis (12.12)
- RP BB/9: Chris Rusin (2.08)
- RP FIP: Jake McGee (2.93)
- WAR: Blackmon (6.5)
Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.
The Rockies had a relatively quiet offseason that mostly just boiled down to shoring up their bullpen. Somewhat shaky closer Greg Holland and Pat Neshek left in Free Agency, and they added Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw. They also brought back Jake McGee, who had a great season for them in 2017. They also brought back CarGo on a cheap deal after his market never developed. He's day to day with a hamstring strain suffered in Wednesday's game.
Ben Zobrist was scratched with a stiff back in the last Cubs game.
Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.
Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7.86, 2.38, 3.74) vs Jon Gray, RHP (9.26, 2.90, 4.16), 7:40 PM CT
Gray is really good, but obviously his numbers are inflated by playing in Coors. I thought that he had only recently gotten his feet under him but his DIPS numbers have been solid the past two seasons. His main issues seem to stem from throwing too many pitches, shortening his outings, and some injury concerns that also keep his IP down. He's struggled to start the year, oddly mostly on the road. and was shelled for 12 combined runs by the Nats (no shame there) and Padres (ok, some shame there) in 10+ innings over his last two starts.
Kyle has been the Cubs most consistent starter so far this year, but has not necessarily been Cyle. He's uncharacteristically walked more batters over his first few starts. Some of that might be some tighter zones, which hurts him more than most pitchers, and there's the whole pitch framing argument that's been fomenting in the comments here over the past week or so.
Saturday: Yu Darvish, RHP (10.92, 2.98, 3.46) vs Tyler Anderson, LHP (8.09, 3.40, 4.60), 7:10 PM CT
Darvish had another inconsisent outing the last time out, giving up four runs and walking four against the Braves. Some of it you can chalk up to the crappy weather, but other aspects were kind of strange. Darvish had no feel at all for his slider(s), so in response, being a guy who throws something like 7 different pitches, he decided to…throw even more sliders? I'm not sure what was going on there.
Anderson had a great rookie season in 2016, posting a 3.54 ERA in 19 starts that earned him 2.5 WAR. Things backslid a bit last year as he dealt with injuries and a home run rate that doubled, though the rest of his peripherals still looked pretty good. He's a four-seam, changeup, cutter guy who gets a fair number of ground balls. He's had a rough time finding the strike zone so far this year, and is coming off a six-walk game in DC.
Sunday: Jose Quintana, LHP (8.95, 2.68, 3.37) vs German Marquez, RHP (7.81, 2.65, 4.59), 2:10 PM CT
Quintana is coming off a short outing in that crazy comeback game against the Barves played in a frozen hurricane, and I don't think we can take anything away from that one given the conditions. On the other hand, he did get shelled by the Marlins in his first start of the year. I trust Q to right the ship but his velocity has been down and it's been a strange start to the season.
Looking at the walk rates of all of these Rockies pitchers certainly gives a clear view of what they are selecting for. Marquez is a boringly solid pitcher, the kind of guy any team could plug into their rotation and quietly forget about. That's pretty much gold to the Rockies. He's mostly a four-seam/curveball guy, though he has a smattering of other pitches that he throws occasionally.