Chicago Cubs vs San Diego Padres – Series Preview (May 6-8): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (21-14) took two of three from the Brewers at Wrigley Field this weekend to move into a tie for first place in the National League Central. The big story in this series was the outstanding performance by the North Siders’ rotation, which allowed no earned runs in 18.1 innings pitched.

Chicago overcame offensive struggles and the continued spotty performance of the bullpen to win their fourth home series in five attempts (the only exception being a split of four with the Marlins). Now they face an opponent they have already played in 2024, as the Padres come to the Friendly Confines for three starting Monday.

San Diego (18-19) got off to another slow start after struggling throughout 2023, but they have won four of their last five to get within a game of the .500 mark. Hitting has been the strength of the team through the first month with a team OPS of .740 that currently sits sixth-highest in MLB.

Jake Cronenworth is having a very nice start and beat up on the Cubs during the series at Petco Park. Jurickson Profar surprisingly leads the team with a .962 OPS. The Padres also made a big move by jumping the trade market to acquire back-to-back batting champion Luis Arráez from Miami just before this series.

The pitching has been a much different story for the Friars, however, as their team ERA of 4.21 ranks 21st in MLB. The bullpen has been at least decent but the starting rotation has been a big issue. Joe Musgrove and Michael King have struggled and Yu Darvish is just coming back from a stint on the injured list.

Former White Sox hurler Dylan Cease has bucked the trend so far with a 2.55 ERA in seven starts this year. Closer Robert Suarez has been almost unhittable with a 0.66 ERA and 10 saves in 13.1 innings of work.

The Padres won two of three from the Cubs in San Diego early in April, but one of those came after Chicago’s bullpen coughed up an 8-0 lead in the 6th inning. The good news for Craig Counsell is that his ace, Justin Steele, appears to be healthy and ready to re-enter the rotation on Monday. In addition, Cody Bellinger and Seiya Suzuki also are close to returning in what would be a major boost to the lineup.

The Cubs have weathered a slew of injuries suffered by key contributors quite well and could start rolling as those important pieces return over the next 10 days.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, May 6 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Tuesday, May 7 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee.
  • Wednesday, May 8 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
5/6 Justin Steele 28 L 1.93 0-0 1.23 6.00
Yu Darvish 37 R 3.45 1-1 3.47 2.50
5/7 Shōta Imanaga 30 R 0.78 5-0 2.23 8.75
5/8 Hayden Wesneski 26 R 0.54 2-0 2.02 4.67
Dylan Cease 28 R 2.55 4-2 2.50 3.43

What to Watch For

  • Nico Hoerner is back on track after a minor slump picking up five hits, three of which went for extra bases, against the Brewers.
  • Christopher Morel has four home runs and six walks in his last seven games.
  • Musgrove went on the injured list Sunday and the Padres have not named a replacement for his scheduled start on Tuesday.
  • Wesneski has only allowed a single earned run in 16.1 innings pitched in 2024.
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