Cubs vs Royals Series Preview: (8/3-8/4)

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The Cubs are playing great baseball to open the season. A 7-2 record, the exact opposite of 2-7 mark in 2019. Strong offense, starters, and defense have overcome continued bullpen lapses to build the good start.

The Cubs welcome a down Kansas City Royals team to Wrigley for two games. KC struggles in most aspects of the game, one notable exception is Whit Merrifield, who is raking again. They also are burdened with Mike Matheny as manager.

Kris Bryant is back after a stomach ailment and testing negative for COVID. David Bote has been good early on as has Ian Happ. Jeremy Jeffress is the default closer with Craig Kimbrel's issues.

This is a chance for more wins against a weak opponent. Keep taking advantage Cubs.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 7:15 PM CT on Marquee SN/670AM

Tuesday: 7:15 PM CT on Marquee SN/670AM

Lineups

Royals

1. Whit Merrifield (R) 2B
2. Jorge Soler (R) DH
3. Ryan O'Hearn (L) 1B
5. Franchy Cordero (L) RF
6. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
7. Alex Gordon (L) LF
9. Brett Phillips (L) CF
Cubs
1. Kris Bryant (R) LF
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Javier Baez (R) SS
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
6. David Bote (R) 3B
7. Jason Heyward (L) RF
8. Nico Hoerner (R) 2B
9. Ian Happ (S) CF
P. Alec Mills (R)
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Danny Duffy: Danny Duffy has thrown 18,864 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2009 and 2020, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2020, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (92mph), also mixing in a Curve (76mph), Change (84mph), Sinker (92mph) and Slider (82mph).

His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His curve has an exceptional bite, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' curves and has slight glove-side movement. His change is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' changeups. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run and has slightly above average velo. His slider is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sliders, has exceptional depth, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has short glove-side cut.

Sean's note; Duffy was once a top prospect but those days are gone. Right handers fare well against the lefty.

Brady Singer: Brady Singer has thrown 162 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2020, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2020, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (94mph) and Slider (84mph), also mixing in a Change (88mph).

His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has less armside run than typical and has slightly above average velo. His slider has exceptional depth and results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His change is much firmer than usual, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight armside fade.

Sean's note: Singer is currently a top prospect. The 2018 first round pick generates a ton of grounders with his power sinker.

Filed under: Series Preview

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    "Burdened with Matheny" funny!

  • Another cool night for baseball in August. Occasional drizzle but nothing to worry about, 15 MPH breeze blowing in from left throughout the game.

    Quintana threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today, described as a normal between-starts workout. Looks like he's headed to South Bend to go for 2 scheduled innings on Thursday. He's missed some time, so I don't expect him back soon, but his return could bolster the pen when it slides Mills down.

    No predictions today except for a big, fat W.

    Go Cubs!

  • Sad news out of Southern California (I don't even know what to call that team anymore): Shohei Ohtani has been shut down from pitching for 4-6 weeks, which probably means the season. He's had 2 starts in 2020 coming back from TJ surgery, and didn't record an out in his first start and only lasted 1.2 innings yesterday, never throwing over 90 MPH.

    Initial MRI shows inflammation in his surgically-repaired forearm. It's too early to tell, but with his unique ability, you have to wonder about his future on the mound.

    Another thought as we await the grounds crew: I said no predictions, but I'd like to amend that. I've been looking at the Royals' defense, and it's pretty pathetic. Twice this season I was excited to watch Javy make something happen on the bases, when he was unencumbered by Rizzo in front of him in a tight game, and both times Schwarber homered and ruined (?) the fun.

    Javy takes advantage of the weak KC defense and pulls an "El Mago" on the basepaths tonight.

  • How about that catch and tag for Javy?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm glad he's on my team. I kinda like this kid.

  • Good approach by Baez making sure that he put the in play,1-0 Cubs.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Absolutely. He didn't try to do too much, which he has often done in the past.

    I was also impressed by the AB by Nico. The game plan for opposing pitchers is to pitch him out of the zone and take advantage of his natural aggressiveness, making him whiff or induce weak contact.

    Him taking pitcher's pitches is a very good sign of a young player making adjustments.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I am so impressed by Javy letting the ball come to him. So many times I see the infielder catch the ball in front of the runner and then reach back to make the tag--the ball was going right there. Catch and tag or catch and have the runner tag himself.

  • fb_avatar

    Another great start by our starting staff. We’ve just got to get that one more hit. Bases loaded and no outs was a real chance to get a few runs. Rizzo came through, and at least we got the bat on the ball, but with our bullpen the more runs the easier it is. Still, the Cubs are playing excellent ball, and I really like Gracy talking to Len and JD. Much better than Ryan Dempster.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    How good is Alec Mills. They cant square the ball up on him.

  • Starting pitching and good defense wins games. I remember a season like that.

    "Does anybody remember laughter?"

  • Two outstading defensive plays by Bote tonight.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 44slug:

    He's better than KB at 3rd. No doubt. If he can hit a bit then KB might be our starting LF.

  • "Go Cubs go.
    Go Cubs go.
    Hey, Chicago, what do you say..."

    I truly have a love/hate relationship with this song.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I say, yes sir, you may have another!

  • fb_avatar

    Is Mills pitching his way ahead of Q when he returns?

  • Very impressed with Mills thus far. So far, he and Chatwood have been pleasant surprises. Let's keep this thing going.

    Meanwhile, a thank you to the White Stockings for beating the Brewers.

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