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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks series preview

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What, you again?

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

After not playing the D-backs for over a year, the Cubs play their entire season series against Arizona in a 12-game span this month. Thanks, schedule-makers.

Since the series against the D-backs at Wrigley Field, the Cubs have lost four of six. But then, the Diamondbacks have lost four of their last five and included in that stretch was a series loss to the Giants in San Francisco. On July 2, the D-backs were 2½ games out of first place. Since then they are 12-19; only the Reds and Braves have been worse in the N.L. in that time span. The Cubs are 18-13 since July 2.

So maybe this one will turn out all right.

And here’s an update on the D-backs from Jim McLennan, who runs our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit:

Since the heart-stopping order which ended the last series between these two side, things haven't gone too well for either of us. Indeed, I'm not sure who's copying who, but they results have been remarkably similar. While the Cubs were losing series to the Giants and the division-leading Nationaks, the D-backs were losing series to the Giants and the division-leading Dodgers.

Arizona will be hoping to get back on track with home-field advantage here, but will need to hit better with runners in scoring position: we were 4-for-22 there against Los Angeles. Please pitch to Paul Goldschmidt: he has only one home-run since leaving Chicago, so needs your help...

Starting pitchers Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley should be familiar from last time. You'll also get to see Taijuan Walker, who was acquired from the Mariners for Jean Segura over the winter. He hasn't won in seven starts, though it has been more about a lack of run support: five of those were quality starts, and his ERA in that time is 3.86.

Both teams could certainly use a series win. The Cubs are looking over their shoulders at the Cardinals, and while the D-backs still hold a larger lead for the second wild-card, they face four against Houston next. If the Dodgers series is any indication, there'll be close to a playoff atmosphere at Chase Field this weekend, which should make for a fun series. At least we know there will be no rain delays!

Not-so-fun fact

The Cubs are 27-44 all-time at Chase Field (and its predecessor name, Bank One Ballpark). The .3802 winning percentage is the Cubs’ worst in any road city in that time frame (since 1998), slightly worse than the .3803 they’ve put up in St. Louis in that span.

And that doesn’t even include the two games the Cubs lost there to the Diamondbacks in the 2007 division series.

Pitching matchups

Friday: John Lackey, RHP (9-9, 4.81 ERA, 1.329 WHIP, 5.57 FIP) vs. Taijuan Walker, RHP (6-5, 3.60 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, 3.83 FIP)

Saturday: Jon Lester, LHP (8-6, 3.97 ERA, 1.223 WHIP, 3.80 FIP) vs. Patrick Corbin, LHP (8-11, 4.76 ERA, 1.562 WHIP, 4.37 FIP)

Sunday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (11-8, 3.73 ERA, 1.209 WHIP, 4.10 FIP) vs. Zack Godley, RHP (5-4, 2.94 ERA, 1.020 WHIP, 3.17 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 8:40 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Saturday: 7:10 p.m. CT, WGN, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Phoenix markets)

Sunday: 3:10 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Prediction

I really want the Cubs to win two of three here, so I’m going to think and wish really really hard and maybe it’ll come true.

Sorry. That’s all I’ve got. Well, I do have this: The Cubs don’t have to face Zack Greinke in this series.

The Cubs really need to turn around the season, and fast.

Up next

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field to host a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Diamondbacks?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    3
    (41 votes)
  • 31%
    2
    (85 votes)
  • 41%
    1
    (112 votes)
  • 12%
    0
    (33 votes)
271 votes total Vote Now