In the first of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (75-57) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (65-69) at Wrigley Field, Jon Lester (8-10, 3.59 ERA) and Zack Godley (4-0, 1.90 ERA) get the ball. The game gets underway at 2:20 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 4 and will air on CSCh, FSAZ and MLBN.
In his last start, Lester pitched 6.0 innings, allowing five runs and striking out seven in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers. Anthony Rizzo (.282, 74 Rs, 27 HRs, 79 RBIs, 15 SBs) continued his strong season Wednesday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. The Diamondbacks were victorious over the Reds 11-7 the last time Godley pitched. He went 3.2 innings, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one. David Peralta (.307, 50 Rs, 14 HRs, 71 RBIs, 5 SBs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 Wednesday.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. The Cubs are an exceptional hitting team with an MLB-best .241 team batting average. They have been very patient at the plate, leading the NL with an average of 3.4 walks per game. Chicago's pitching staff has fallen apart in the past 10 games. Its average runs allowed per game rose to 5.2 during that span, compared to its 4.0 season average. The Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP. An area where the Cubs are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average an NL-best 8.7 K's per game.
They sport the top-ranked offense in the NL, averaging 4.5 runs per game. Arizona is a terror on the base paths, ranking second in the MLB with 115 stolen bases.
The Diamondbacks are 2-1 against the Cubs this season. This game will feature Godley (RHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 59-44 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The left-handed Lester will take the mound against the Diamondbacks, who have a 15-19 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
When leading after 7 innings, Chicago is 30-22, while Arizona is 26-23.
The Diamondbacks are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Cubs have a 4-10 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Diamondbacks are 45-17. The Cubs have a 48-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 19th in runs, Chicago has earned 542 this season. Arizona ranks third with 603 runs.
Ranking ninth, Arizona is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 405 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at second with 452.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 51-25, well-matched with the Diamondbacks who are 47-26 when hitting one or more homers.