The bright lights of Chicago, Illinois will be shining on the North Side Monday night as the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks, two of the National League’s best, enter Wrigleyville for a mid-summer showdown.
The Cubs are coming into this one with a decent 2.5 game lead over the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, are on quite the skid as they have fallen to 3rd place in the NL West after losing of 6 out of their last 10 games.
This series has the potential to send major shockwaves throughout the rest of the MLB as it has many implications for the overall outlook of each division lead.
How Do They Stack Up Against Eachother?
While the wins haven’t exactly been piling up for the D-Backs in the past week, they do have the bats to turn this notion right around. In the past 7 days, Center Fielder A.J. Pollock has been lighting it up with a .583 batting average and .615 OBP.
The key to Arizona getting hot again is to use Pollocks ability to get on base and combine that with their star slugger, Paul Goldschmidt getting out of his slump. Goldschmidt is a career .361 hitter vs. the Cubbies and has 13 homers vs. them in his career.
Chicago will have no issue finding offensive success this series as they are on an absolute tear this past week. The Cubs have 32 runs in this week alone and their team batting average in this time period is an efficient .315. These 32 runs also look very staggering as Arizona only has 14 during this time.
The Cubs have yet to name a starting pitcher for Monday’s contest, however their pitching staff may be in trouble if they perform the way they did against Arizona last year. In 6 games vs. the D-Backs last year, the Cubs pitching staff gave up 9 home runs and had a 4.25 ERA as well.
Arizona’s starting pitcher, Patrick Corbin, also has an ERA above 4 in his career vs. the Cubs, but could be crucial in another role for the Diamondbacks. In the past 3 seasons, Corbin has hit 4 home runs vs. Chicago and has a decent batting average of .299. Look for Corbin to give up some early runs to Chicago, but to give it right back to them when he’s up to bat.