Batten down the hatches, hide your women and children, and protect your various valuables. The Cubs are in town and they have been pillaging their way through the NL this year no matter where they go. The Cubs are the best team in baseball right now at 41-17, and the Braves are the worst team in baseball at 17-42. It's like looking in a fun-house mirror. On to the matchups:
Game 1 - Norris v. Hamel
Game 2 - Wisler v. Arrieta
Game 3 - Kelly v. Lester
If you're into pitcher records (which really don't matter much), the three guys the Braves are facing this weekend are a combined 23-5, so that's pretty ominous. I'm personally into team records when a certain starter pitches, and the Cubs are 28-7 there. Jason Hamel has a 2.14 ERA this year and 56 Ks in his 11 starts. But here's the upside for the Braves hitters: they've had great success against Hamel in the past where others have struggled. Frenchy is 4-9 off him, Markakis is 9-19 with a homer, and AJ is 3-10 with a bomb. Freddie Freeman is 5-8 off him with 2 homers. This lineup should be able to hit Hamel, and score some runs, because they have in the past. And with Bud Norris starting, he's been shockingly decent for the most part lately. Norris has only given up 4 runs in his last 17.2 innings of work over 10 games, so maybe he can keep it together against the best hitting lineup in the universe? MAYBE!
Wisler came off the rails in his last outing giving up 8 earned in 4 innings against the Dodgers. After getting wrecked that badly, SURPRISE! Here's the Cubs. I'm hoping he can learn something in this matchup without getting tattooed again. Meanwhile, he's facing Jake Arrieta, who knew to Clayton Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the game right now. Jake has a 1.80 ERA, 87Ks in 12 games, 26 walks, only given up 3 homers, has an opp avg of .180, a WHIP of 0.96, and he threw a no-hitter in April against the Reds. But yeah, he's just okay we should be able to rough him up at home, because we've been stellar in the TED this year. That's a joke, kids.
The last game features Casey Kelly, the guy we traded Christian Bethancourt for in December, and he'll take the mound with only one other career start this season. In said start, he gave up 3 to the Phillies and lost. But the Braves didn't score at all in that game, so I hardly blame Kelly. He goes against Jon Lester, who you may remember from his multiple years with the Boston Red Sox, during which he won a couple of World Series rings. I bet he's hoping for one more with the Cubs. Lester also has an ERA in the low 2's, a WHIP under 1, 78 Ks in 12 games, and a vicious .610 opp OPS against the Braves. The only guys with any success off Lester are Freemand and AJ, but they haven't exactly been lighting it up lately. To win this game, Casey needs to pull off a Miracle, and Freddie needs to go yard with a few guys on base.
The CPA predicted we'd get swept by the Padres, but the Braves won one of those games, so it went 2-1 on that series and improves to 26-27. Almost back to .500 ball folks. How does it see this weekend?
Game 1 - Cubs by 6
Game 2 - Cubs by 5
Game 3 - Cubs by 4
Yeah the CPA thinks we're going to get murdered on the field. I can't say I blame it, but MAN, those numbers when you pair them off look awful. This is the worse matchup in a regular season game on paper than watching an SEC team play their home cupcake school in Week 1. Yeesh. Score some runs, boys!