Coming off a shutout loss and dropping the series to the Washington Nationals, the Chicago Cubs (25-21) host the defending American League Champions, the Kansas City Royals (28-18). The Royals are currently tied for first place in the AL Central with the surprising Minnesota Twins, but they Royals are also on a four-game losing streak.
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Are the Cubs catching the Royals at the right time or are they about to wake up a sleeping giant?
The Royals are second in the American League in scoring, averaging just under five runs per game. The Royals are leading all of baseball with a .281 team batting average.
The Chicago Cubs are also having some trouble, losing four out of their last six games. In their last four games, the Cubs have only been able to score seven runs, six of those being solo home runs.
Volquez has been dominant against the Chicago Cubs over his career. Volquez is 7-0 with a 2.90 ERA against the Cubs lifetime and is 3-0 with a 3.63 ERA at Wrigley Field.
There are a few Cubs players with some success against Volquez at the plate. Dexter Fowler has a .320 average with a homer in 29 appearances, Jonathan Herrera in nine appearances is hitting .600, and Anthony Rizzo is 3-for-7 against Volquez with two doubles.
As for Arrieta, he is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in three starts against the Royals over his career, but he has not faced the team since 2011 as a member of the Orioles. Arrieta is 2-3 with a 2.41 ERA in Wrigley Field this year, but has only had 12 runs scored for him of support in those starts.
Here are the scheduled lineups for today’s game:
In a side note on this series, this will be the return of former Cubs manager Dale Sveum. He serves as the Royals hitting coach and he’s made them into a very dangerous offensive team. It will be his first game back at Wrigley Field since he was let go by the Cubs in 2013.
The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 CT and can be seen on CSN or on the radio at WBBM 780, WRTO 1200.