Series preview is here.
Thursday: 1:20 PM CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM
Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.
Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.
Ross Stripling: Ross Stripling has thrown 5,413 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 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 (90mph), Curve (80mph) and Slider (87mph), also mixing in a Change (82mph) and Sinker (89mph).
His fourseam fastball has much less armside movement than typical, generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has slightly below average velo. His curve generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ curves, has a sharp downward bite and has primarily 12-6 movement. His slider is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sliders, has much less depth than expected, is much harder than usual and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders. His change results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups, has slight cut action and has some natural sink to it. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has below average velo, has less armside run than typical and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker.
Sean’s Note: Stripling is likely heading back to the ‘pen when Rich Hill returns from injury in the next week or so. He’s been good so far in five starts, allowing just 10 runs in 29.1 innings. He gets a lot of ground balls, 50% of balls in play this season. Home runs can be an issue, he allowed 18 in 122 innings last year and already four this season. In his career, right-handers actually hit him better than left-handers do.
Final Thoughts: The Cubs are running out essentially the same lineup as last night’s dramatic win. Jon Lester is back from his hamstring injury, he will only throw around 75 pitches. Keep an eye on Willson Contreras, he hasn’t gotten a game off since Victor Caratini got injured. Joe Maddon has to avoid overusing him like he did in 2018.