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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Padres series preview

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The Cubs face the team with the best record in the National League.

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cubs have, to date, had what some might consider a relatively “easy” schedule. Their 29-23 record is good; it’s a .557 winning percentage which would equate to a 90-win full season.

Even so, the Cubs have held their own against contending teams. They are 11-9 against teams currently over .500 (Cleveland, Dodgers, Brewers, Mets, Cardinals) and 18-14 against teams currently under. 500 (Braves, Reds, Tigers, Pirates, Nationals).

The Padres’ 34-20 record is four games better than the Cubs and a fair amount of it has been posted against bad teams. They are 15-14 against teams currently over .500 (Astros, Dodgers, Brewers, Giants, Cardinals) and 19-6 against teams currently at .500 or below (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Pirates, Mariners, Rangers).

So, this series will actually be a good test for both teams. The Cubs, as you know, have quite a few players on the injured list and their recent six-game winning streak is at least in part a tribute to the replacements who have stepped up. They’ll have to continue to do so, especially since the Cubs’ next 16 games are all against contending teams (Padres, Giants, Padres again and Cardinals).

The Cubs are fortunate that they’ll miss San Diego’s two best pitchers, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove, in this series.

Fun fact

The last time the Padres were at Wrigley Field was July 19-21, 2019. The Cubs took two of three in that series.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday: Kohl Stewart, RHP (2021 season debut) vs. Chris Paddack, RHP (2-3, 3.61 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, 3.42 FIP)

Tuesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (5-4, 4.63 ERA, 1.420 WHIP, 5.42 FIP) vs. Ryan Weathers, LHP (2-1, 1.31 ERA, 0.903 WHIP, 3.72 FIP)

Wednesday: Adbert Alzolay, RHP (3-4, 3.81 ERA, 0.926 WHIP, 4.20 FIP) vs. Dinelson Lamet, RHP (1-0, 2.57 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 3.18 FIP)

NOTE: I am making a calculated guess regarding Kohl Stewart. At posting time for this series preview, there have been many rumors that Stewart would be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to start Monday’s game, but nothing’s been confirmed. Hoping to have more info by the time today’s game preview posts at 11:30 a.m. CT. If it’s not Stewart, it’s possible Keegan Thompson could start, which would likely make Monday a bullpen game.

Times & TV channels

Monday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

This will not be easy; the Padres are the best team the Cubs have faced so far in 2019. But the Cubs have nearly matched the Padres this month; they are 18-8 and San Diego is 19-8. I’ll go out on a limb and say the Cubs will win two of three.

Up next

The Cubs head to the West Coast for a four-game series against the Giants in San Francisco beginning Thursday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Padres?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    3
    (13 votes)
  • 39%
    2
    (77 votes)
  • 46%
    1
    (89 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (14 votes)
193 votes total Vote Now