Game One Hundred Forty-One: Cubs (90-50) vs. Astros (74-67)
- Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 176, 844
- Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
John Lackey, RHP (9-7, 3.36/1.02/3.68) vs. Collin McHugh, RHP (9-10, 4.96/1.51/4.17)
The Cubs look to make it two in a row over the Astros today behind John Lackey.
John Lackey makes his second start since coming off the DL today. The Cubs moved Lackey up a day and flipped him with Jake Arrieta. The Cubs pushed Arrieta back to Sunday night’s finale. Lackey is still pitching on five days rest, the extra day should benefit him greatly.
Willson Contreras is expected behind the plate today with Lackey on the hill. And Jorge Soler should be the Cubs DH again.
Anthony Rizzo could receive his day off this afternoon. Maddon has multiple options he can use at first base and he could use a Sunday lineup today with several backups in the starting nine. Maddon loves day games, especially early ones, and he could use the noon first pitch as an excuse to give his regulars a day off.
Joe Maddon has the option of using a balanced lineup based on the numbers against Collin McHugh. Right-handers have a .844 OPS with a .299/.341/.503 slash line against McHugh this season while left-handers have hit .307/.361/.479 with a .839 OPS.
Today all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey makes his second start back from the DL today. Lackey was sharp for five innings against the Giants his last time out. Lackey allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit with a walk and four strikeouts. The Cubs had trouble fielding the ball and making plays behind Lackey in the finale against the Giants. And while Lackey was long gone by the time Jason Heyward delivered the game winner in the 13th inning, his last outing in the Cubs 3-2 win was very encouraging.
Lackey was 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in the three starts leading up to his stint on the DL.
John Lackey makes his 12th road start today. Lackey is 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. In his first 11 road starts of the season, Lackey allowed 35 runs, all earned, on 58 hits with 17 walks and 73 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings.
Today is Lackey’s fifth career start against the Astros. Lackey is 2-1 in the first four with a 4.37 ERA and 1.68 WHIP (11 runs, 25 hits 13 walks, 21 strikeouts, 22 2/3 innings). Lackey makes his first career start at Minute Maid Park this afternoon.
Astros Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Jose Altuve: 1-for-9
- Jason Castro: 3-for-7 with one double and two walks
- Marwin Gonzalez: 1-for-5
- Colby Rasmus: 0-for-5
- Evan Gattis: 1-for-3
Collin McHugh is coming off a rough start against the Rangers in Arlington. McHugh gave up five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. The Astros won the game 7-6. And the ‘Stros are 4-0 the last four times he has pitched.
McHugh has had an inconsistent season. McHugh will have one good or decent outing followed by a real clunker. Unfortunately for the Cubs he is due for one of his good starts.
In his last 10 starts, McHugh is 4-4 with a 5.90 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. And at Minute Maid Park this season, McHugh is 5-4 in 12 starts with a 3.89 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
Collin McHugh makes his first career start against the Cubs today. McHugh completed two innings back on May 18, 2013 when he was with the Mets. McHugh allowed three runs on five hits.
Cubs Career Numbers against Collin McHugh
- Ben Zobrist: 3-for-9 with one double, one triple and two walks
- Chris Coghlan: 3-for-4 with one double
- Jason Heyward: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Munenori Kawasaki: 0-for-2
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-1
- David Ross: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …