Chicago Cubs @ Oakland Athletics – Series Preview (April 17-19): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (8-6) continued their stretch of quality play by taking two of three from the Dodgers in Los Angeles this weekend. Chicago got excellent performances from their pitching staff and produced some timely power to take the series and come up just short of a sweep after a 9th-inning rally by the Dodgers Saturday night.

The Cubs wrap up their quick road trip with three games in Oakland against the scuffling Athletics (3-13). It’s been an incredibly rough beginning to the season for the A’s, who have given up 125 runs this season. That’s 28 more than the next closest team and their staff ERA of 7.60 is far higher than the 5.87 put up by the second-worst Detroit Tigers.

Oakland’s offense is slightly better but still not very good with a .683 OPS that at least is not the lowest in baseball. Not surprisingly, this has all led to a whopping -63 run differential through 16 games. Funny how that happens when they trade their best players away each summer.

Adding insult to injury, the Coliseum is an absolute dump. Just this week stories have emerged about employees using duct tape to keep the bleachers intact and a possum taking over the away team’s broadcast booth.

Still, the Cubs must be careful in this series. Much like the proverbial possum in the announcing booth, the A’s might appear to be dead but could spring back to life and win the series. If the Cubs stay focused and play like they have for the past couple weeks, they should be able to do well.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, April 17 at 8:40pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
  • Tuesday, April 18 at 8:40pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
  • Wednesday, April 19 at 2:37pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/17 Hayden Wesneski 25 R 7.50 0-0 11.49 0.67
Kyle Muller 25 L 5.52 0-0 4.35 1.57
4/18 Marcus Stroman 31 R 1.00 2-1 2.60 2.50
Ken Waldichuk 25 L 10.20 0-2 9.52 1.57
4/19 Justin Steele 27 L 1.42 2-0 3.64 3.17
James Kaprielian 29 R 12.15 0-2 9.10 1.25

What to Watch For

  • Wesneski has struggled with control in his first two starts of the season and got yanked early against the Mariners last week.
  • Outfielder Brent Rooker is the early offensive leader for Oakland with four homers in just 33 at-bats.
  • Cody Bellinger may need to go on paternity leave during the series as his girlfriend is due to have a baby in the next few days.
  • Patrick Wisdom has hit three home runs in the last three games and leads the team with six overall.
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