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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Blue Jays series preview

The Cubs visit Canada for the first time in eight years.

Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs haven’t played the Blue Jays since 2017, when they swept them in a three-game series at Wrigley Field. And they haven’t played in Toronto since 2014 — that time, the Jays were the team posting the three-game sweep.

For more on the Jays, here’s Tom Dakers, manager of our SB Nation Blue Jays site Bluebird Banter.

The Blue Jays are having the most maddeningly inconsistent season in my memory. For a few weeks at a time, they are world beaters. Then they will go through a long stretch where I’m sure that I could find nine guys in my neighborhood who could sweep them in a four-game series. The Jays are second in the league in runs scored, but they have games were they can make any pitcher look like the second coming of Nolan Ryan. The next day they will put up a dozen runs off a Cy Young winner, there is no rhyme or reason to it.

But we get to watch Vlad Guerrero every night, he may not be having an MVP season, but he is a ton of fun to watch. Matt Chapman is likely the best defensive third baseman in team history. George Springer is hitting .500 this month (yeah, that’s just 10 games, he’s been dealing with various aches and pains). Alek Manoah is a bulldog. Alejandro Kirk might not look like an athlete, but he is a ball player, and a damn good catcher. Ross Stripling has been the biggest surprise on the team. He started the season as a long reliever/swing man and has quietly become our best starter. And Jordan Romano is in the conversation for best closer in baseball.

The Jays’ work at the trade deadline didn’t wow us, I think they did the bare minimum of what was needed, picking up a couple of good relievers (Anthony Bass and Zach Pop), a new “swing man” (Mitch White) who has become our fifth starter and Whit Merrifield, because, well I don’t know why, but we have him.

With 40ish games left, the team is in a very tight Wild Card race. Every loss we have the ‘season’s over’ fans show up, but we are just off a sweep of the Red Sox, so we are happy and hopeful again. If the good Jays show up, they are a team that no one will want to face in the playoffs.

Fun fact

As noted above, the Cubs were swept the last time they visited Toronto, so the last game they won in Canada happened more than 14 years ago, June 15, 2008. Aramis Ramirez homered for the Cubs and the winning pitcher was Ted Lilly, who allowed just one hit in six innings.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday: Javier Assad, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.000 WHIP, 4.63 FIP) vs. Jose Berrios, RHP (9-5, 5.28 ERA, 1.351 WHIP, 4.84 FIP)

Tuesday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (3-6, 4.10 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 3.84 FIP) vs. Kevin Gausman, RHP (9-9, 3.15 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 2.01 FIP)

Wednesday: TBD vs. Mitch White, RHP (1-4, 4.24 ERA, 1.359 WHIP, 3.81 FIP overall; 0-2, 5.89 ERA, 1.691 WHIP, 3.34 FIP in four starts for Toronto)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 6:07 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 6:07 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:07 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network (also on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Blue Jays market territories)


Well. The first two pitching matchups are at least not UNfavorable for the Cubs. It’s impossible to know how most of these guys will play in Toronto and the Jays have a good 36-28 home record, though they just got swept at home by a bad Angels team. So... maybe the Cubs can take two of three here.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then open their final three-game series of 2023 against the Cardinals Friday evening in St. Louis.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Blue Jays?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (6 votes)
  • 18%
    (23 votes)
  • 54%
    (67 votes)
  • 22%
    (28 votes)
124 votes total Vote Now