After a disappointing loss in the series finale with San Diego, the Cubs have won four of their last six games to move back above the .500 mark. Now Chicago embarks on an 11-game marathon road trip to Miami, Washington, and Cincinnati.
This swing could define the Cubs’ season. A winning trip could be launchpad for a second-half run, while another disaster like the 0-6 West Coast swing could do significant damage to the Northsiders’ playoff hopes.
There’s cause for optimism in the recent improvement in Chicago’s starting pitching. John Lackey, Jon Lester and Mike Montgomery made consecutive quality starts for the first time in 2017 and the whole unit could be due for an upswing.
Since they played at Wrigley two weeks ago, the Marlins have held steady by going 7-5. Miami is still led by the big bats in the middle of the lineup, but the Fish generally have to outhit their mediocre pitching to win games.
If the Cubs want to succeed in South Beach they will need to bring the lumber. Their offensive inconsistency has persisted throughout 2017, but a return to the explosiveness of 2016 will be key to a winning road swing.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Thursday, June 22 at 6:10 CT on MLB-Network and CSN-C
- Friday, June 23 at 6:10 CT on WGN
- Saturday, June 24 at 3:10 CT on ABC-7
- Sunday, June 25 at 12:10 CT on CSN-C
What To Watch For
- Even though he failed to reach base Wednesday, Anthony Rizzo has been pure fire in June. Tony is slashing a mind-blowing .397/.505/.778, food for a cool 1.284 OPS.
- Willson Contreras is really heating up as well. Even his outs seem to be getting scalded, as two smashes were robbed Wednesday. He even got a start in the outfield Tuesday.
- Justin Bour missed the last series against the Cubs with an ankle injury. The former Chicago farmhand is on pace for 42 homers and 111 RBI and he is a major power threat in the middle of the Miami order.
- Mike Montgomery had an excellent outing his last start, going six scoreless frames. Monty could be a huge factor in the back end of the rotation in the second half.