The Cubs (23-32) managed to hold their own over a tough stretch of nine games in seven days against the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. While a 4-5 record does not seem like something to celebrate, it felt like an accomplishment for this undermanned Chicago squad.
Now the schedule lightens up a little bit, at least on paper, as the Cubs head to Baltimore for two games with the Orioles (23-33). The O’s are having a tough time yet again in 2022 as they try to find relevance in the mighty American League East.
Trey Mancini is the leading hitter on what has not been a very good Baltimore offense. The other big threat is Austin Hays, who is the only other player with an OPS over .750 so far. No one on the roster has hit double-digit homers their combined 23.8% team strikeout rate is eighth-highest in MLB while their 7.6% walk rate is sixth-lowest.
The Orioles bullpen is actually the strongest aspect of the team with a 3.13 ERA that is good enough for fifth-best in baseball. The same cannot be said of the starting pitching staff, which sports a 5.03 ERA that is nearly two full runs higher to put them in the fifth-worst position. Maybe they can trade some of those pitchers to Cubs, a strategy that has worked very well in Chicago’s favor before.
Camden Yards is a very hitter-friendly stadium, so expect some high-scoring games. The Cubs have had no shortage of baserunners lately, so perhaps the Orioles’ pitching will be just the tonic they need to push more of those runners across.
Chicago would be wise to take advantage because the mighty Yankees are right around the corner.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, June 7 at 6:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
- Wednesday, June 8 at 6:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
What to Watch For
- Thompson went a career-high 5.1 innings in his last start against the Cardinals. Especially promising was the fact he maintained his fastball velocity until his final inning. There is no reason not to continue stretching him out in a starting role.
- Stroman got lit up for nine runs in his last start after five straight quality outings. The home run ball bit him against the Cardinals with two three-run shots doing most of the damage.
- Ian Happ reached base 12 times in the St. Louis series and has his OPS up to .822 with some increased slugging.
- Christopher Morel continues his excellent stretch to start his career having reached base safely in his first 20 major league games. His defense and base running are also outstanding and it seems unlikely, barring injury, he will be out of the lineup anytime soon.