The All-Star break gave the Cubs (44-46) a chance to lick their wounds and try to recover from a disastrous end of the first half that saw them shift from buyers to sellers. Trade rumors flew around the team even during the Midsummer Classic and will be a fact of life for the rest of the month of July, with the Joc Pederson deal signaling the start of a potentially wild July.
The second half begins with a three-game set against a truly terrible Arizona Diamondbacks team starting Friday, so maybe the Cubs can raise hopes before dashing them once more.
The Dbacks (26-66) are a whopping 40 games under the .500 mark and sit 14.5 games out…of fourth place in the NL West. The pitching staff has the second-highest ERA in all of baseball at 5.40 and the hitting is not much better. With star outfielder Ketel Marte injured, the main offensive threat is Eduardo Escobar, who leads the active roster with a .785 OPS.
If the Cubs are ever going to make a late-season run, you would think it would start against the lowly D-Backs. Nothing is going to stop the roster shakeup that is undoubtedly coming at the end of the month, but it might be nice if the Cubs could win a few games in the meantime. Let’s see if that starts this weekend in the desert.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 16 at 8:40pm CT on Marquee
- Saturday, July 17 at 3:10pm CT on Marquee
- Sunday, July 18 at 3:10pm CT on MLB Network and Marquee
What to Watch For
- Jason Heyward has six hits in his last four games, which qualifies as hot with the Cubs’ current offensive issues.
- Hendricks has allowed more than two runs just once in his last six starts. He is pitching like an ace even if the rest of the team is not following suit.
- The Dbacks have allowed an MLB-worst 531 runs, so even struggling offenses have found ways to score against them.