Chicago Cubs: Current stretch of schedule key in race for NL Central

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Looking for help

The Cubs know their success is in the hands of their stars. Kris Bryant is currently mired in the worst stretch of baseball in his young career. Fortunately, a resurgent Jason Heyward, an increasingly consistent starting pitching staff, and increased production from their other stars has helped buoy the team through KB’s slump. He must return to form if the Cubs hope to navigate this stretch of games.

As for those afore-mentioned starting pitchers, they simply have to stay steady. Jon Lester is as hot as they come (8 wins, sub-2.30 ERA) so even a mild regression wouldn’t be a terrible thing. In ten starts since April 23rd, Jose Quintana has allowed more than two runs only twice. As impressive, he allowed more than five hits only once in that same stretch. He’s finally looking like the player the team coveted last summer.

Kyle Hendricks has been up-and-down, but while his highs aren’t too high, his lows haven’t been too low either. His performance has been adequate and there’s no reason to expect the wheels to fall off for Kyle anytime soon. Tyler Chatwood has easily been the least consistent starter, but with Mike Montgomery pitching so well, Chatwood has time to work into form. Most teams have a couple of weak spots in their rotations, so having only one is a bit of a luxury for Chicago.

Chicago remains one of the highest scoring teams in baseball. If their pitching continues to produce, this stretch should be more boom than bust.