Series preview is here.
Sunday: 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM
Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.
Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.
Robbie Ray: Robbie Ray has thrown 11,906 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Slider (83mph), also mixing in a Curve (81mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (93mph).
His fourseam fastball results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has slightly above average velo, has slightly less natural movement than typical and has some added backspin. His slider generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, is much harder than usual, has little depth, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 18 of them in 2019) generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has well above average velo, has less armside run than typical and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker.
Sean's Note: Ray had a bit of a down year in 2018 after his good 2017. He has allowed 14 runs in just 21.1 innings pitched in 2019. He walked hitters at pretty alarming 13.3% in 2018 and is even higher at 16.3% so far this year. He also misses a ton of bats with a 31% strike out rate in 2018. The key is to take advantage of the walks so the few hits he allows really hurt.
Final Thoughts: Happy Easter, Passover, or Sunday depending on how you observe. Tyler Chatwood gets the start, so I don't need to tell you how unpredictable he is. The Cubs are going with a heavy right-handed lineup against the lefty Ray. Albert Almora Jr., has struggled mightily against left-handers so far this year. The conditions at Wrigley are more hitter friendly then they have been the last two days.