The struggling Chicago Cubs (9-13) will send Drew Smyly (1-2, 2.79 ERA) to the mound today to take on the equally dismal Chicago White Sox (9-13). While the luster may not quite be there in this early-season crosstown matchup, there’s still a bit of pride on the line for folks that stand on one side or the other of this rivalry.
Somewhat unexpectedly, Smyly has been the Cubs’ best starting pitcher so far this season. The Cubs signed Smyly to a one-year deal late in the offseason and there was no real reason to believe it was anything more than a play to fill out their depleted starting rotation. Guess again.
Smyly has been very good at keeping the ball on the ground this season, with a career-high 54.8% groundball rate. That’s led to an impressive 2.89 ERA but it’s his 4.89 FIP that suggests things may be about ready to come crashing back to earth. The rain is falling in Chicago, so conditions should be in both pitchers’ favor tonight, assuming things go forward as planned.
Alfonso Rivas is back at the top leading off and playing first, followed by Seiya Suzuki in right, Ian Happ in left, and Frank Schwindel as the DH. Patrick Wisdom has started to heat up lately, he hits fifth in the lineup playing third. Jason Heyward bats sixth playing center, followed by Yan Gomes catching and Nick Madrigal at second.
For the White Sox, Michael Kopech will take the hill tonight at Wrigley Field. He’s off to a nice start with a 1.42 ERA over four starts but his .200 BABIP hints at a good bit of fortune in those starts. The Sox haven’t rewarded Kopech with any wins this season, so hopefully that trend continues tonight along with the inevitable increase to his BABIP.
First pitch is set for 6:40pm CT and the game can be seen and heard on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 3, 2022
Cubs reliever Scott Effross will start tonight’s game against the White Sox at Wrigley Field as the team is placing Drew Smyly on the bereavement list.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) May 3, 2022