The Chicago Cubs (2-0) started off the 2016 season strong, sweeping a two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The team’s offense outscored the Angels 15-1 in those two games, backing strong pitching performances by starters Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester.
Tonight’s game will be John Lackey’s debut with the Cubs. At 36 years-old, the feisty right-hander will be counted on this season not only for his big-game experience but also to eat up innings at the team’s third starting pitcher.
Lackey had a strong 2015 campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA in 218 innings pitched. In addition to posting solid numbers, Lackey did not miss any of his scheduled 33 starts. That consistency is what lead the Cubs to offer him a 2-year deal for $32 million, a large sum of money for a starter at the end of his career.
The Diamondbacks went all in on pitching this offseason, signing former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and acquiring 25-year-old right-hander Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves. Greinke signed a 6-year, $206.5 million contract and Miller cost the team several of its top prospects, including 2015 #1 overall pick, shortstop Dansby Swanson.
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Greinke was roughed up in his first start with Arizona on Monday, going four innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits, a 10-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Miller did not fare much better in his debut with the team, surrendering six runs on eight hits, earning himself a no-decision.
However, the Diamondbacks (1-2) went on to beat the Rockies 11-6 that game. They also lost 4-3 to the Rockies yesterday afternoon. Trevor Story led the way for the Rockies, hammering four home runs in the series.
On the other hand, the Cubs have been flat out dominant in their first two games of the season. The team defeated the Angels 9-0 Monday and 6-1 Tuesday, allowing just seven hits in both victories.
Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup for both the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks:
First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN+, 670 The Score.