Cubs @ Indians – Series Preview (April 24-25): TV and Game Info, Pitching Matchups, Insights
The Cubs were able to escape the craziness that is Coors Field with a series victory over the Rockies. I was able to attend the weekend games and Sunday might have been the most insane Cubs game I have ever seen in person. Chicago sits at 10-9 as they head to Cleveland for a rematch of the 2016 World Series.
The Indians are on top in the AL Central with a 12-8 record and look like a playoff team again. The Tribe has relied heavily on their pitching staff early, benefiting from a 2.68 team ERA. And with a team batting average of .219, they have needed every bit of that excellent hurling.
Michael Brantley has been big, batting .320 in 12 games after offseason ankle surgery. Mike Clevinger, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer have been dominant in the rotation.
Chicago’s wildly inconsistent play has been an early storyline in 2018 and a rash of postponements might be a factor in the lack of rhythm so far. Regardless, it would be nice to see a string of good performances. Albert Almora Jr. and Javy Baez have been stellar atop the lineup over the last four games and Kyle Schwarber seems to like hitting in the six hole, so perhaps that keys a turnaround.
The offense showed life in the Mile High city, but whether it will transfer to normal baseball conditions remains to be seen. Runs will be hard to come by for the Cubs in this short series, so the pitching staff will have to hold its own.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, April 24 at 5:10 p.m. CT on MLB Network (out of market) WGN
- Wednesday, April 25 at 6:10 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago
What To Watch For
- Baez has hit .480 with nine RBI and seven extra-base hits, including three homers, over the last week. He has earned comparisons to Hulk Hogan, and yet he wasn’t National League Player of the Week. Somebody should answer for that foul-up.
- Don’t forget Almora, who has hit .400 the past week in the leadoff spot and made three incredible catches in center on Sunday (better in person, in case you were wondering).
- Anthony Rizzo is back from injury but still not in the groove. A .146 batting average and only one longball is not going to last for him, so here’s to hoping it ends in the Mistake on the Lake.
- Finally, a little food for thought:
The Cubs return to Cleveland and Progressive Field tonight to face the Indians. For anyone who may not remember, the last time the Cubs played in Cleveland, this happened: pic.twitter.com/0dZMwwCBWv
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) April 24, 2018