Chicago Cubs (24-36) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (37-25)
Thursday, 7:05, Randy Wells vs. Kyle Kendrick
Friday, 7:05, Carlos Zambrano vs. Roy Halladay
Saturday, 4:10, Matt Garza vs. Cliff Lee
Sunday, 1:35, Doug Davis vs. Roy Oswalt
AVG - .269 (3rd)
OBP - .323 (11th)
SLG - .392 (14th)
R - 245 (18th)
This offense is confusing because they have a bunch of guys with high batting averages, yet they score less runs than the Phillies. Kosuke Fukudome/RF (.309), Marlon Byrd/CF (.308), Darwin Barney/2B (.304), Starlin Castro/SS (.301), and Aramis Ramirez/3B (.286) have only 10 homeruns collectively, so that probably has a lot to do with it. Their biggest bopper, Alfonso Soriano (12 HR), is on the DL, as is super utility player Jeff Baker (.368/.865).
Expect a lot of base hits, but few runs scored. Sorta like the Phils offense without the hits.
ERA - 4.80 (30th)
WHIP - 1.48 (30th)
BAA - .269 (29th)
The worst pitching staff in baseball couldn't be arriving at Citizens Bank Park at a better time. A 4-game set against this hapless bunch should remedy the Phils offensive woes, and if it doesn't then it's going to be a long summer. Earlier this week Zambrano called out his club for playing like a Triple-A team. He was mostly pissed off at closer Carlos Marmol for blowing a save that would have been a credited win to Big Z. Zambrano (3.98 ERA) is Friday's starter, and is the best the Cubs have to offer. Going tonight for Chicago is Wells (5.74 ERA), who is still attempting to get his feet under him this season after being recently activated from the DL. On Saturday Garza gets the ball and has been a strikeout machine (71 K in 59.2 IP with a 4.07 ERA). Then in the series finale on Sunday Davis (6.38 ERA) wraps things up. Not a good rotation, rather bad.
In the bullpen the Cubs are better, with Sean Marshall (1.03 ERA, 12 HLD), Kerry Wood (2.25 ERA, 9 HLD), and Carlos Marmol (3.21 ERA, 11 SV, 37 K in 28 IP).
I'm going big and picking Phils for 3 outta 4. If they happen to eek out a victory tonight with KK on the mound, then sweep. Also, Zambrano takes Doc deep on Friday for the Cubs lone run.
Screw Michael Martinez!