Chicago Cubs @ Arizona Diamondbacks – Series Preview (April 15-17): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (9-6) recovered nicely from a series loss in San Diego by taking two of three from the Mariners in Seattle. Chicago used three home runs from red-hot rookie first baseman Michael Busch and two impressive starting pitching performances to win their first road series since last August. Now they wrap up their nine-game trip with a trio of contests in the desert against the Diamondbacks.

Arizona (8-8) is looking to run it back after their unlikely trip from the final NL Wild Card spot to the World Series in 2023. Other than the late addition of pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who recently fired Scott Boras in favor of Wasserman’s Joel Wolfe and Nick Chanock after settling for a one-year deal, the D-backs are returning pretty much the same roster as they had last season.

Arizona’s offense is led by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Ketel Marte, and reigning Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll, all of whom caught fire during the playoffs. First baseman Christian Walker has tremendous power and is also a major threat in the lineup. This can be an explosive unit for manager Torey Lovullo when everything is clicking.

Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have been excellent at the top of the rotation so far in 2024 but the rest of the starting staff has struggled mightily. Some of those issues should be alleviated by Montgomery once he’s ready to go. The bullpen has been pretty solid led by closer Kevin Ginkel.

The Cubs have never played well at Chase Field (37-54 all-time) and that was particularly true last September when Arizona swept them on the way to passing them for the final Wild Card spot. They have a chance to come out at least close to even on this trip if they can win at least one game in the series.

It’s not going to be easy, but the North Siders can further solidify their status as a legit contender before heading back home. At the very least, maybe they can avoid being snake-bit this time around.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, April 15 at 8:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Tuesday, April 16 at 8:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Wednesday, April 17 at 2:40pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/15 Ben Brown 24 R 6.15 0-0 3.54  2.25
Merrill Kelly 35 R 2.29 2-0 3.55 4.00
4/16 Kyle Hendricks 34 R 12.08 0-2 8.06 2.00
Tommy Henry 26 L 5.79 0-1 5.61 2.14
4/17 Jordan Wicks 24 L 5.68 0-2 2.38 2.38
Brandon Pfaadt 25 R 6.48 1-0 4.45 5.67

What to Watch For

  • It’s been a tough start to the season for Cody Bellinger, who is hitting just .172 with an OPS of .562 through 15 games.
  • Seiya Suzuki had four hits against the Mariners and is continuing a very good start to 2024.
  • Kelly has been an excellent pitcher since 2022 and is showing no signs of slowing down the season.
  • Hendricks has been getting lit up in his first three starts and really needs some kind of encouraging performance in this one.
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