Cubs need to take care of business in "trap series" against Oakland

Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics
Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The schedule for the Chicago Cubs has been and will continue to be pretty tough over the next week or so. After facing 2022 postseason-bound teams in the Mariners at home and Dodgers on the road back-to-back, the Cubs will face the Dodgers again in a four-game set next Thursday through Sunday, then face the Padres in a three-game set immediately after.

There is one "break" in the schedule: the upcoming three-game set in Oakland. The A's boast the worst record in baseball at 3-13 with a -63 run differential. This year's edition of the Athletics features a number of veteran journeymen including Jesús Aguilar, Jace Peterson, Aledmys Díaz, former Cub Tony Kemp, and former All-Star closer Jeurys Familia. Just a quick reminder that they traded away All-Star catcher Sean Murphy to the Braves this past offseason.

This is a team the Cubs need to handle, but this also screams "trap series" very loudly. It is easy to take the foot off the gas against an inferior opponent while focusing on all of the other superior opponents around this series.

As of right now, the starting pitchers lined up for the Cubs are Hayden Wesneski on Monday night, Marcus Stroman on Tuesday night, and Justin Steele on Wednesday afternoon. This would be a great "get right" matchup for Wesneski, who sports a 7.50 ERA and 2.83 WHIP in 6.0 innings pitched (two starts) so far this year. The slated Oakland A's starters include Kyle Muller (5.52 ERA), Ken Waldichuk (10.20 ERA), and James Kaprielian (12.15 ERA).

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Baseball is a weird sport and every awful team is going to win games against superior opponents. With that said, the Cubs ideally want to at the very least take 2/3 against this A's team. It sounds kind of silly to say in April when there is so much time left, but you do not want to look back several months from now at games that got away that should have been won.