The Cubs head for the mountains today as part of a seven-game road trip that sees them play the Rockies three times and the Dodgers immediately after for four. It’s the kind of mini-road trip that will test the mettle of this squad and the mettle of Cubs fans as well, since five of the games will start after 7:40pm CT and cause some late-night watching.
While both the Cubs and Rox have gone 6-4 in their last 10, the Cubs (37-27) currently sit atop the NL Central and Colorado (33-31) is in an 11-game hole in the NL West.
Both teams boast elite offenses, so don’t be surprised to see balls flying all over the place in the thin air of Coors Field this week. The Rockies have scored 340 runs so far this season to the Cubs’ 335, good for third and fourth in the NL. It also marks the final time that the Cubs will play the team that put an end to their inconsistent 2018 campaign, having seen them for home and away series within a week.
Since the Cubs took two of three from the Rockies at Wrigley just a few days ago, the clubs have fared a little differently. The Cubs, as we all know, just completed an impressive sweep of the rival Cardinals over the weekend, while the Rockies went to Citi Field and dropped two of three to the bumbling Metropolitans. After scoring just nine runs in the series in New York, you can bet the Rockies will be happy to return home.
The Rockies are buoyed by the top of their lineup, which features All-Stars Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Charlie Blackmon, with the latter having just returned after a brief IL stint. Arenado is doing his normal thing, slashing .331/.381/.598 for a 135 wRC+. Story is having another good year with the stick as well, putting up a .289/.358/.543 for a 120 wRC+.
Blackmon, who just came back in the series against the Mets, is a force atop the lineup for the Rockies putting up .295/.355/.551 for a 121 wRC+. David Dahl (.330/.378/.537 for a 125 wRC+) is also having a breakthrough year, making their top four in the lineup as fearsome as anyone in the league.
The Cubs boast their own impressive lineup, with the added ability to mix and match on any given night based on who is throwing for the other team. With three right-handed starters going for the Rockies, expect a lefty-heavy lineup for the Cubs, with Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, and former Rockies star Carlos González getting the bulk of the playing time (perhaps leaving Albert Almora Jr. out of the lineup a couple more times).
Game and Broadcast Info
- Monday, June 10 at 7:40 CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Tuesday, June 11 at 7:40 CT on WGN
- Wednesday, June 12 at 2:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago
What to Watch For
- Schwarber is slashing .421/.467/.895 over the past week. Let’s see if the thin air at Coors helps the Cubs’ leadoff man continue that run.
- González returns to Colorado. The former Rockies star is back for the first time as a Cub and may get a couple starts after some big hits and a nice play in the outfield this past weekend.
- The Cubs’ starters have been really good again of late and the matchups feature decidedly disparate Cubs and Rockies staffs as the Cubs throw out three starters who are all older than 30 and the Rockies send out three guys who haven’t even turned 25 yet. Let’s hope the grizzled vets are up to the challenge against the young pups.
- Victor Caratini has continued to provide consistent at bats and productive results since coming back, slashing .366/.480/.585 for the season. Will Maddon find a way to get him a start or two in the series?
- Craig Kimbrel has been and will be the talk of Chicago for the next few weeks. While he won’t be pitching in this series, every game brings us closer and closer to his Cubs debut.