The Chicago Cubs put the wobbly Arizona Diamondbacks on blast last night. Things can change in a hurry in Major League Baseball, just ask the Diamondbacks who went from looking like a contender to 5 games back in the National League West. It’s suddenly developed into a two-team race between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Statistically the Diamondbacks are still hanging in there, but after losing nine of their last eleven games, the curtain has just about closed on them. They’ve lost four straight after dropping another last night. The D-Backs were a great team for most of the season, but they look like a team who are running out of gas. Unfortunately for them, they are going to have to wait until the offseason to fill the tank back up. The Cubs throttled the Diamondbacks last night, as they didn’t offer much resistance in a blowout.
The Cubs are gearing up for a strong postseason push, as they were able to put a little more room between them and the Brewers. The Brewers had a bad loss against the Reds, so the Cubs magic number improves to 8. Following their series against the Diamondbacks, the Cubs will head back to Chicago to gear up for a series against their intercity rivals, the White Sox.
That should be a successful series for the Cubs, but it’s best not to take the lowly White Sox lightly. The Reds did a fine job of making them work for wins last week, and the White Sox are likely going to be motivated to put their best foot forth against the Cubs. They finish the regular season up against the Pirates and Cardinals at Wrigley. The Cards hope that they’ll be going into that series with an opportunity of stealing the NL Central. Arizona have the Rockies and Dodgers following this series, so their season will come down to those six games. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Diamondbacks pick.
Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick
Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.67 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (5-2, 4.14 ERA)
The Cubs found gold with Cole Hamels. They traded for Hamels and he’s done nothing but provide excellence for the Cubs. It seems like he wasn’t too motivated in Texas with the Rangers. He was stuck on a losing franchise that weren’t going anywhere. That could have worn on him, but whatever the reason, he’s been in a groove with the Cubs. Prior to going to Wrigleyville, Hamels was floundering with the Rangers.
He ended up posting an ERA of 4.72 in 20 starts. Hamels immediately saw a boost in production in Chicago. His ERA with the Cubs is at 1.57, so that’s quite the good move in the right direction for Hamels. He has yet to allow more than 3 runs in nine starts with the Cubs. In eight of nine, he’s given up 2 or less runs, so the change of scenery and going to a contender has helped. The D-Backs are hitting just .200 in 75 at-bats against Hamels. In the Diamondbacks last four games they’ve managed to score just 2.5 runs per game, while the pitching has given up 7.25 runs per game.
They’ll have to figure out Hamels if they want to get back on track. Robbie Ray has looked much better in the second-half of the season. After recording an ERA of 2.89 last season, expectations were especially high for Ray. He enters with a 4.14 ERA so he’s not matching that. However, Ray has been good recently, with a 2.65 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his previous seven starts. He happens to hate pitching in Arizona, though, where he sports an ERA of 5.37 with a 1.51 WHIP and .355 OBA. The Diamondbacks look like they’ve given up on the season. Their body language is completely off, as the Rockies and Dodgers take control in the division. I advise a play on the Cubs to get it done again in the desert.