The time has come for Jake Arrieta‘s surprise first-half to become his breakout season as he looks to help the Chicago Cubs (40-56) avoid the three-game sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks (42-56).
Arrieta (5-1, 1.95) has been as good as anyone in the majors this year, and is only absent from the pitching leaderboards due to his lack of innings after missing the first half of the season due to tightness in his shoulder. His 1.95 ERA and 1.01 WHIP would have him among the top-10 in the league.
The Cubs will be looking forward to finishing up this trip, as they will then play 23 of the next 33 at the Friendly Confines.
The Diamondacks will send Josh Collmenter (7-5, 3.80) to the mound. Collmenter has dominated the Cubs in his short career, allowing only two runs in 14 1/3 innings (five games, two starts). He has, however, not faced any Cub hitter more than eight times.
The Cubs are on a four game losing streak, and it’s not for the lack of scoring. The Cubs have averaged five runs per game over that span. The pitching staff has struggled as of late, as the bullpen has been called on for more innings as the starters, notable Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson, have failed to go deep in games.
John Baker will get the start behind the plate as Welington Castillo gets the day off before the trip back to Wrigley. Arismendy Alcantara moves back to second base and Ryan Sweeney will man center field.
WGN will have the TV coverage, and WGN AM 720 will have the radio broadcast for the 3:10 pm CT start.
Here are the starting lineups for today’s match-up: