Chicago Cubs vs Houston Astros – Series Preview (April 23-25): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (13-9) just had a disappointing split in a four-game set with the scuffling Marlins. A lack of hitting and Adbert Alzolay‘s fourth blown save of the season — which cost him the closer job — were the key factors in the two losses. Chicago hopes to end their homestand on a high note as they welcome the Astros to Wrigley for three games.

Houston is off to a shockingly bad 7-16 start to the season after winning the American League West in 2023. The biggest problem has been a pitching staff that has a 5.04 ERA through 23 games. To make things worse, starter Cristian Javier just went on the injured list with a neck problem.

The Astros bullpen has had big issues, including newly-acquired closer Josh Hader being tagged for nine runs in 9.2 innings of work. There is some good news with veteran ace Justin Verlander returning after missing the first three weeks of the season due to shoulder inflammation.

Houston’s offense is performing much better than the pitching, so it’s entirely possible things could turn around in a hurry. José Altuve is off to a blistering start with an OPS of 1.015 and Yordan Alvarez is as dangerous as ever in the heart of the lineup. This is a unit that can do big damage if it gets hot.

Just looking at the Astros’ record would indicate they are a bad team, but the talent on the roster is that of a playoff contender. It feels like they are going to wake up and snap out of this April malaise at some point, and no team wants to be the innocent bystander when this talented squad gets rolling.

In order to avoid being said bystanders, the Cubs need their cold hitters to make some hay against the struggling Houston staff. This series is not going to be an easy one despite what the standings say.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Tuesday, April 23 at 6:40pm CT on TBS and Marquee.
  • Wednesday, April 24 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Thursday, April 25 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/15 Jordan Wicks 24 L 5.29 0-2 3.09  2.67
J.P. France 29 R 7.08 0-2 4.88 2.00
4/16 Jameson Taillon 32 R 1.80 1-0 4.21
Spencer Arrighetti 24 R 11.57 0-2 3.49 1.60
4/17 Javier Assad 26 R 2.11 2-0 3.72 2.63
Justin Verlander 41 R 3.00 1-0 4.04

What to Watch For

  • Nico Hoerner has been the Cubs’ best hitter over the last seven games with 14 hits in 32 at-bats.
  • Cody Bellinger has reached base nine times in his last five contests.
  •  Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker is off to a good start with five home runs and an .896 OPS.
  • Christopher Morel is in a big slump with just three hits in his last 24 at-bats.
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