Jason Hammel (6-5, 3.10 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (67-49) go up against Anibal Sanchez (10-10, 4.95 ERA) and the Detroit Tigers (56-61) in the first of a two-game interleague series at Wrigley Field. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and will air on WLS and FSDT.
In his last start, Hammel pitched 5.2 innings, giving up one run, striking out five and walking one in a 3-2 loss to the Brewers. The Tigers were unsuccessful to the Royals 6-1 the last time Sanchez pitched. He went 5.1 innings, allowing five runs, striking out four and walking one. Miguel Cabrera (.352, 45 Rs, 16 HRs, 57 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well for the Tigers, going 2 for 3 Sunday with two runs, one home run, and three RBIs.
The odds are even for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. The Cubs have an 8-8 record SU against the American League. Over their past 10 games, Chicago's offense has been playing lights out, averaging 5.3 runs per game, well over their season average of 4.0. The Cubs are a dangerous hitting team with 311 extra base hits, one of the highest totals in the MLB. The Cubs are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 78 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking second in the league with a 1.18 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.
When playing Interleague competitors, the Tigers have a 7-10 record SU. Against the NL, Detroit's offense has been struggling more than normal. Detroit has averaged 3.6 runs per game, less than their 4.4 season average.
The Cubs will take on a right-hander (Sanchez) in this game and have a 52-39 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Hammel will take the mound against the Tigers, who have a 41-48 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
The Tigers lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Cubs are 27-17. The Tigers are 19-17 in close games this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Cubs are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Tigers have a 23-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Tigers are 7-44. The Cubs have a 15-36 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling in the top half of the league based on total home runs this season, Chicago ranks 14th with 111 homers and Detroit is 12th with 114.
Detroit tops the league in hits with 9.41 per game this season. Chicago ranks in the top half at 14th with 8.09.
Ranking 22nd, Chicago is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.700). Detroit ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .752.
When the Tigers allow at least one home run, they are 27-48. When the Cubs allow one or more homers, they have a 32-32 record.