Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 6/4/19 8:05 PM ET Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, TV: Chicago (NBCSH), Colorado (ATT SportsNet-RM) Radio: Chicago (670 The Score, WRTO 1200), Colorado (KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM)
The time has come for a rematch of last year’s NL Wild Card Game right back at Wrigley Field. The Cubs host the Rockies at Wrigley Field for the series opener at 8:05 PM ET. After this three game series, the Cubs will take on the Cardinals then will travel to Coors Field for another matchup against the Rockies June 10-12. The Cubs are 32-26 going into tonight’s game (1.0 GB in the NL Central). The Rockies are 31-27 (9.5 GB in NL West).
Kyle Hendricks will get the nod for the Cubs to open the series. He’s 5-4 on the year with a posted ERA of 3.09. He ended the month of May with a quality start against the Astros in which he gave up just 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings pitched. Throughout May, he was 4-0 with an ERA of 1.81, going at least 8 innings 4 times. He’s posted a 1.29 ERA with 32 strikeouts at home on the year.
The right-handed Jeff Hoffman will take the hill for the Rockies tonight. Hoffman is 1-1 on the season through three starts, today marking his third start since being given a chance to stick in the rotation starting May 24th (he had one game pitched on April 23rd). Hoffman’s last outing at Wrigley on June 10, 2017 ended in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 8 and gave up one run for a Rockies victory of 9-1.
1. K. Schwarber , (L), LF
2. K. Bryant , (R), 3B
3. A. Rizzo , (L), 1B
4. J. Baez , (R), SS
5. W. Contreras , (R), C
6. D. Descalso , (L), 2B
7. J. Heyward , (L), RF
8. A. Almora Jr. , (R), CF
9. K. Hendricks , SP (R)
Coming off a rough couple series against Houston and St. Louis, the Cubs were able to get some their pent-up angst out against the Angels yesterday in a makeup game that ended 8-1 in their favor. The Cubs put up 11 hits and Lester went 7 innings only giving up one run. Carlos Gonzalez went 1-3 and made an impressive over-the-head catch in right field with the bases loaded to limit the Angels from scoring more than one for his Cubs debut.
Baez and Contreras combined for two long balls on the day. Looking onward at today’s matchup, Bryant has taken Hoffman deep twice in just 5 ABs for an average of .600. Almora, Heyward, and Contreras are all 1-3 off the right-hander heading into tonight’s game. Rizzo has 2 hits off of him in 6 ABs.
Coming off a spectacular May, Hendricks will look to roll some of that momentum into today’s matchup. He’s had success against the Rockies lineup in the past, holding Arenado to .273 through 22 at bats. Hendricks is pitching spectacularly at home on the year with an ERA of 1.29. If Hendricks can put together another long outing today, it will benefit the Cubs as he’s given up a BA of .239 the third time facing a hitter as opposed to .293 the second plate appearance.
1. R. Tapia , LF (L)
2. T. Story , SS (R)
3. D. Dahl , RF (L)
4. N. Arenado , 3B (R)
5. D. Murphy , 1B (L)
6. B. Rodgers , 2B (R)
7. I. Desmond , CF (R)
8. T. Wolters , C (L)
9. J. Hoffman , SP (R)
The Rockies are red hot as they’re 9-1 in their last 10 games. They’re coming off two consecutive sweeps of the Diamondbacks and the Blue Jays. With the Dodgers 9.5 games ahead in the NL West, it’s looking like a strong possibility of the Rockies coming into the playoffs as a wild-card team, despite being a solid ball club.
Story, Dahl, and Arenado are hitting spectacularly in recent games. In his last 5 games, Story is hitting .524 through 21 at bats. Dahl is an even .500 in his last 6 games, with an OBP of .556. Arenado is hitting .429 through the last 6 games with 4 walks and 1 home run. It will be interesting to see how things play out today, as Trevor Story hasn’t recorded a hit against Hendricks in his career through 7 ABs. Dahl, on the other hand, is hitting .500 with 2 home runs off of Hendricks in 6 ABs.
If there’s any weakness coming from the Rockies lineup today, it’s Jeff Hoffman. In his last two starts, he’s gone a total of 10 innings and given up 8 runs and 4 walks. Tonight’s game will mark the right-handers first time pitching on the road in 2019. In his three starts on the year, the first time through a lineup has proved to be his kryptonite. He’s allowing a BA of .478 against hitters the first time through. This average drops significantly the second time through to .208.
Cubs vs. Rockies Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Cubs -220 Rockies +190 after opening at Cubs -185 Rockies +160. This line movement favors the already favored Cubs heavily. I think the Cubs will win this game, but it’s also hard to pass up on +190 odds for the red-hot Rockies. Jeff Hoffman poses the biggest threat to the Rockies winning this game, and I think he will take them out of it. The over/under is currently set at 10.5 runs. Despite the two club’s offenses being hot, I’d take the under. The Cubs will likely put up a few runs early, but I think it will level out and Hendricks will hold the Rockies to 1 or 2.
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