Friday, June 5, 2009

Cubs-Reds: The One Where We Miss the Good Pitchers

After splitting with the Braves and hopefully avoiding their best pitcher on the June 22 make up day, the Cubs will move on to Cincinnati and face the team directly in front of them in the standings. Lets look at the pitching matchups.

Friday- Carlos Zambrano (3-2 4.22 ERA) v. Micah Owings (3-6 5.10 ERA)
Its never good when the most intriguing part of a pitching matchup is how each pitcher will do at the plate. Zambrano and Owings are the two best hitting pitchers in baseball, though Zambrano is the much better pitcher. After being pushed back a day, Z returns from his vacation looking for his 100th career win. Owings wasn't that great against the Cubs earlier this season, and hopefully the Cubs hitters can be patient and take the walks he is sure to give them.

Saturday- Ryan Dempster (4-3 4.48 ERA) v. Matt Maloney (first big league start)
This should be an interesting game. Typically the Cubs struggle with new pitchers, and they also struggle with soft tossing lefties. Since Maloney is both of those, we might have some serious issues. This is the game where Aramis would probably hit two homers and carry the team, but of course he is hurt. Dempster was stellar last weekend against the Dodgers, but he isn't as a good a pitcher on the road, his control will be the key to the game.

Sunday- Randy Wells (1.69 ERA) v. Bronson Arroyo ( 7-4 5.37 ERA)
I would suggest grabbing Arroyo for your fantasy team after this game, because whenever Arroyo struggles he fixes all his problems against the Cubs. He then goes on a two month tear. I would hope that we can get to him, but really this will be the start of the Bronson Arroyo being a good pitcher tour. Wells cannot pitcher any better, he should be 5-0 right now except the offense and bullpen seem to hate him. Wells is due for a game where he gets hit pretty good, and I'm guessing we see it here. 

Overall the goal is taking 2 or 3 especially with Z going in the first game and a rookie in game 2. Knowing this team we will get one game, and probably not the one we think. No Joey Votto is a good sign, but we still have to face Jay Bruce- who I don't think has ever gotten a major league hit against another team besides the Cubs. 

This would be the perfect time for Geovany Soto to start hitting some homers, he should get the start on Saturday for sure. Lou sat down with him and that tends to be a good indicator that somebody will start doing better. Also look for Derrek Lee to continue his hot hitting, which is perhaps the only thing keeping this team around .500 right now. 

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