Chicago Cubs @ Toronto Blue Jays – Series Preview (August 11-13): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (59-56) just dropped their first series since right after the All-Star break, losing two of three to a previously struggling New York Mets squad. Pete Alonso was a one-man wrecking crew with four home runs as Cubs pitchers somehow felt it’d be a good idea to keep throwing him strikes. Chicago looks to rebound with a trip north of the border to face the talented Blue Jays (65-52) starting Friday.

Toronto is having a very good season and currently holds the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Their young star-studded lineup has produced a .749 OPS, which ranks 9th in baseball. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman are looming dangers in the heart of the lineup, but they’re not alone.

One player the Cubs won’t have to worry about is shortstop Bo Bichette, whose with 17 homers and .847 OPS aren’t an issue because he is currently on the injured list with a sprained knee. Former Cardinal Paul DeJong was acquired at the deadline to fill in for Bichette, so let’s hope the remnants of devil magic are not very powerful.

Toronto’s 3.73 team ERA is the lowest in all of MLB, and their 3.31 ERA in the second half of the season shows that they’re pitching even better of late. The top four pitchers in the rotation — Kevin Gausman, José Berrios, Chris Bassitt, and Yusei Kikuchi — all have sub-4 ERAs. Closer Jordan Romano is out with a back injury so another St. Louis addition, Jordan Hicks, has taken over the role.

This is going to be a difficult matchup for the Cubs in a pretty hostile environment at Rogers Centre. The schedule gets significantly easier for the rest of August after this series, so getting out of Toronto with anything better than an ofer should keep them in a good spot.

David Ross‘s team is clearly capable of beating anyone as the series victory over the Braves last week proves, but they will need to play a lot better than they did against New York to come out ahead in this one. Time to get back on a winning track, eh.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, August 11 at 6:07pm CT on Apple TV+.
  • Saturday, August 12 at 2:07pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Sunday, August 13 at 12:37pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
8/11 Javier Assad 26 R 3.35 1-2 4.51 1.72
José Berrios 30 R 3.38 9-7 3.88 3.23
8/12 Justin Steele 28 L 2.68 13-3 3.21 4.04
Chris Bassitt 34 R 3.87 11-6 4.57 2.85
8/13 Jameson Taillon 31 R 5.17 7-6 4.54 2.97
Hyun Jin Ryu 36 L 4.00 0-1 4.27 2.50

What to Watch For

  • Seiya Suzuki had three hits on Wednesday, including a home run, after not starting for four consecutive games to work on his swing.
  • Assad is getting another start with Drew Smyly being moved to the bullpen.
  • Dansby Swanson went 0-for-11 with six strikeouts against the Mets.
  • Mike Tauchman reached base six more times in New York.
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