The Cubs won two of three in St. Louis to complete a 3-3 division road trip. Despite losing two of three to the Brewers the series before, they sit just a 1/2 game out of first. Chicago’s offense was the definition of feast or famine during the trip, scoring a total of 26 runs in the wins and being shut out in three losses. They now return home for an NLCS rematch against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At one point in mid-May, the Dodgers found themselves at 16-26 and almost 10 games out of first place in the NL West. Then they seemed to have flipped a switch, going 21-7 since to jump right back into the race. Matt Kemp was reacquired in a trade with Atlanta that dumped Adrian Gonzalez’s contract. Once thought to be washed up, Kemp has an OPS of .959 and is a legitimate MVP candidate. Walker Buehler and Ross Stripling have filled in well in the rotation in place of the injured Clayton Kershaw, who has only made eight starts this year.
The Cubs’ starting pitching has been very good during their recent hot streak. Jon Lester and Mike Montgomery in particular have done excellent work the past month. The bullpen has remained steady, a trend that has held true throughout the 2018 season. The Northsiders have won six of their last seven series to put themselves in good position to win the division.
They are in the midst of 17 games in as many days, 11 of which are on the road. Taking advantage of these three home games will be important.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, June 18 at 7:05 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Tuesday, June 19 at 7:05 pm CT on ABC-7
- Wednesday, June 20 at 1:20 pm CT on MLB Network (out of market) and WGN
What To Watch For
- After a slow start to the season, Kenley Jansen appears to be back to his old self. He has allowed only two runs in his last 10 outings while picking up seven saves.
- Albert Almora Jr. has been red-hot in June, hitting .348 for the month.
- Montgomery in his four starts since joining the rotation has allowed a total of three runs. He is leaning on his change-up a lot more and the results have been great.
- Javy Baez says he is okay and should be ready to play Monday after getting hit in the elbow by a pitch on Sunday night.