Wednesday night features a battle of NL West versus NL Central when the Colorado Rockies (31-28) take on the Chicago Cubs (33-26) at Wrigley Field. This is the second of a three-game series, one that saw the Cubs win the opener 6-3 behind a strong start from Kyle Hendricks. The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for the Rockies while the Cubs have now won two in a row after being swept by the Cardinals over the weekend.
For the Rockies, despite a winning record, they currently sit 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Cubs, on the other hand, are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central division. The starters for Wednesday’s contest are German Marquez (6-2, 3.48 ERA) for the Rockies against the Cubs’ Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.02 ERA). First pitch from Wrigley Field is scheduled for 8:05 pm ET.
The moneyline for this one features the Colorado Rockies at +105 and the Chicago Cubs at -115.
By The Numbers
Both of these teams have been solid on the offensive side as they both rank in the top 10 in terms of runs per game. For the Rockies, they currently sit at third overall with 5.47 runs per game. Like most years, though, they score significantly more at home (6.30) than on the road (4.57). For the Cubs, they come in just a few spots later at seventh with 5.21 runs per game (4.72 at home).
On the pitching side, the Cubs have a significant advantage when it comes to earned run average. They currently rank sixth with a team ERA of 3.85 (3.00 at home). For the Rockies, they fall to 27th overall with a staff ERA of 4.97 (although they are significantly better on the road at 3.94).
Rockies Looking To Even Series
With the Dodgers running away with the division, the Rockies may have to settle with competing for a Wild Card spot. With that being a very realistic target, they know that every game is important and will turn to German Marquez to try to even the series with the Cubs.
On the season, Marquez is 6-2 in 13 starts with a 3.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and opponents are hitting .246 against him. In 85.1 innings, he has allowed 80 hits, 33 earned runs, nine home runs and has struck out 83 versus 17 walks. In his last outing, a 13-6 win over the Blue Jays, Marquez went seven innings, allowing six hits, three walks, and two earned runs while striking out 7. He will look to build on this outing against the Cubs Wednesday.
Offensively, Nolan Arenado has been absolutely dominant this season. He is currently hitting .343/.392/.631 with 16 home runs, two triples, 16 doubles, 52 runs batted in and 47 runs scored. He has also had success against Yu Darvish. In his career, he is hitting .375 in eight at-bats with a home run and three runs batted in. Chris Iannetta and Trevor Story have also homered against the Cubs’ righty.
Cubs On Upswing
After a tough weekend, the Cubs have done a nice job of regrouping to take a makeup game against the Angels on Monday and the first game against the Rockies on Tuesday. Trying to extend the win streak to three will be Yu Darvish. On the season, Darvish is 2-3 in 12 starts with a 5.02 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and opponents are hitting .240 against him. In 61 innings, he has allowed 54 hits, 34 earned runs, and 11 home runs. While he has struck out 73, one of the biggest issues for Darvish has been the walks, as he has surrendered 41 thus far.
In his last outing, a 2-1 extra-inning loss to the Cardinals, Darvish probably had his best outing of the season. He went six innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out six. He will try to build off of this even more on Wednesday.
Offensively, Anthony Rizzo has been the Cubs’ best hitter over the last 30 days. In that time he has hit .337/.430/.630 with eight home runs, 18 runs batted in and 16 runs scored. Kris Bryant (.307/.397/.644 with nine home runs) and Javier Baez (.300/.355/.500 with four home runs) have also performed well over that time. Between these three and players like Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras, there isn’t a whole lot of weak spots in the Cubs’ lineup.
Rockies Take Game Two
Coming into this series, I had the Cubs taking two of three; however, this is the one game that I thought the Rockies could take. I definitely like German Marquez more than the inconsistent Yu Darvish. Additionally, despite the loss Tuesday, the Rockies have been playing good ball as of late, and I think they will bounce back in game two.
Playing at the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field, it is certainly possible that the Cubs can jump on this one, but for my money, I like the Rockies at +105 to take this one and to tie up the three-game series at one game apiece.