Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros, 5/29/19 8:10 PM ET Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX, TV: Chicago (NBCSCH), Houston (ATT SportsNet-SW, ESPN) Radio: Chicago (670 The Score), Houston (KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 850 AM)
Old division rivals suit up for the last contest of their three game series tonight at Minute Maid Park at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros have taken the first two as the Cubs have fallen to 4-6 in their last 10. 4-4 Kyle Hendricks takes the mound for the Cubs as the Astros are sending the left-handed Wade Miley to hill.
Hendricks has 54 strikeouts on the year with a posted ERA of 3.34. His last two starts weren’t great, as he allowed seven runs in 11 2/3 innings. His three starts before that were near perfect, though, as he had an ERA of 0.36 with 17 strikeouts through those three games. He’s never faced the Astros before, and the only player on the team who’s matched up against him is Robinson Chirinos who’s 0-2 against the right-hander.
Wade Miley is 4-0 in his last four decisions and has been lights out at home all year. At Minute Maid, he’s undefeated (3-0) with an ERA of 2.15 in five starts. The Cubs will certainly be hoping Bryant is back in the lineup today, as he’s traditionally hit the left-hander well (.455 through 11 at bats).
Cubs Starting Lineup
1. A. Almora Jr. , CF
2. K. Bryant , 3B
3. A. Rizzo , 1B
4. J. Baez , SS
5. W. Contreras , C
6. D. Bote , 2B
7. B. Zobrist , DH
8. J. Heyward , RF
9. M. Zagunis , LF
It’s starting to feel like make it or break it time for the Cubs, as they’ve cemented their first two series in a row loss since the beginning of the year with last night’s L. Despite hitting five home runs last night, it wasn’t enough to push past the Astros nine runs. David Bote had two of those homers and finished the night with 3 RBIs. It’ll be supporting players like Bote and Almora who will determine the fate of this Cubs team over the course of the year, as their star power has been sufficient at times but not enough to completely carry the team.
The Cubs’ real achilles heal on the year has been, of course, pitching. Lester hasn’t been his usual rockstar self, as he gave up seven runs last night making that his third terrible start in a row. Brach gave up another two runs out of the pen. It feels impossible to lose a game in which your team hits five long balls, but giving up nine runs is of course the way to do it.
The Cubs will hope for better production from Hendricks tonight, and they just might get it. He’s given up seven runs in his last two starts, but that’s certainly better than seven in one. There is cause for concern for the Cubbies, though, as Hendricks is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA on the road this year. This is his first go against the Astros, so the slate is clean for him to shape his destiny against the team.
Astros Starting Lineup
1. J. Reddick , RF
2. A. Bregman , 3B
3. M. Brantley , DH
4. C. Correa , SS
5. Y. Gurriel , 1B
6. J. Mayfield , 2B
7. R. Chirinos , C
8. T. Kemp , LF
9. J. Marisnick , CF
The 37-19 Astros are looking good, as they’ve taken four of their last five. Stubbs, Brantley, Marisnick, and Bregman all had two hits a piece yesterday, combining for seven RBIs. In the last seven days, Bregman, Correa, Brantley, and Diaz are all hitting above .300 with OBPs ranging from .353 to .438. So there’s no shortage of offense coming from the bats of the ‘Stros.
Despite grabbing the win in last night’s contest, pitching didn’t look phenomenal for the Astros. The starter, Corbin Martin gave up three runs followed by Josh James who gave up three as well. After that, the pen held up to hold the Cubs to just those six runs, Rendon, Pressly, and Osuna all going an inning.
On the season, the Astros are hitting .289 with an OBP of .364, which has produced an astounding home record of 22-7 on the year. If their pitching holds up better than last night and they continue hitting the ball as well as they have been, they won’t have a problem taking tonight’s game.
Cubs vs Astros Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Astros -108 Cubs -112 after opening at -127 for the Astros and +107 for the Cubs. If Bryant is in the lineup, I’m going Cubs all the way in this one as they will likely bounce back tonight. They haven’t lost four games in a row since the first week of the season, and I don’t see them starting now. The over under is set at nine runs, and with last night’s offensive performance from both teams, I see the over hitting tonight.
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