Chicago Cubs Series Preview: Looking for consistency, team heads out to face Colorado

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 12: Kyle Hendricks
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 12: Kyle Hendricks /

Aces collide

As previously mentioned, the series kicks off tonight with Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.71) taking the mound for the Cubs, opposing Rockies ace Jon Gray (1-3, 6.23). The Rockies could well need their bullpen early in the game.

Gray has given up three home runs in his last two starts, including two in a home start against the Padres. He has had one perfect outing, mixed among the mediocre starts. In Gray’s last home start, he went 5 IP and gave up 7 ER to the Padres.

Opposing teams have a .385 BABIP as well as a 1.25 HR/9 against Gray so far in 2018. The Cubs were BABIP’d to death early on in the season, so they will look to turn it around versus Grey.

He is facing Chicago for the first time in his young career so look for the Cubs to swing early and often in hopes of setting an early tempo.

As the road ace, Kyle Hendricks toes the rubber for the Cubs, as he looks for his first victory of this young season. Positively, Hendricks has looked solid early on, as two of his first three starts have been quality starts. Teams have batted just .257 off him, and a BABIP of just .264.

On the contrary side, he has given up multiple home runs in his last two starts, as well as posted a surprisingly high 3.71 BB/9. Hendricks can hopefully turn the table on that tonight.

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A new experience for Yu

In the second game of the series, Yu Darvish
(0-1, 6.00) opposes Tyler Anderson (0-0, 4.74). It will be an intriguing match-up as Darvish has never faced the Rockies in Coors. He does have one career start against them, however, going 4.1 IP and giving up 5 ER.

Anderson meanwhile has faced the Cubs once, going 7 IP and giving up 5 ER, in a start back in 2016. After an abysmal first start, Anderson has bounced back well with two Quality Starts. His issue of command could come into play in his start as he walked six vs. Washington his last time out and has a porous 5.68 BB/9.

Quintana hopes to find success

In an Earth Day daytime series finale, Jose Quintana (1-1, 8.16) faces off against German Marquez (1-1, 4.34).

The big Cubs lefty is off to a rocky start. After what was seemingly a great first start for Quintana vs. the Marlins, quickly evaporated into something tragic. Then Quintana showed his good stuff in a road match-up vs. the Brewers. This last time out, it was slow sailing for the S.S. Jose, as he went just 2.1 IP and gave up 7 ER to the Braves.

Jose Quintana has two career starts vs. the Rockies, both as the ace for the Chicago White Sox. He has a career 3.65 ERA against them; both starts coming in Coors Field. If Quintana can get his slider working, he could continue his dominance against the Rockies.

Likewise, German Márquez has undoubtedly had the Cubs number in his experience facing them. A minute sample size, Márquez has a 0.82 ERA in 11 IP. In like fashion, he did throw eight shutout innings, striking out eight, at Coors last year vs. the Cubs. The Cubs will hopefully find success in the series-finale matinee.