The Chicago Cubs played like the Cubs on the road again last night, as they dropped their second in a row against the Padres in San Diego. I don’t know what it is, but Joe Maddon has to figure out their problem with losing on the road fast. If they do reach the postseason, they’re likely going to be traveling to another destination to play in the Wild Card Game.
Before that possible matchup, the Cubs just have to get into the postseason. That’s going to require some wins on the road down the stretch. They have just a half game advantage on the Milwaukee Brewers, so it’s no guarantee that the Cubs are playing in the postseason.
Following this series in San Diego, the Cubs will head back to Wrigley Field for an important clash against the Cardinals. Then they’re fortunate to play host to the Reds, which is a winnable series against a team who have struggled with the Mariners on the road. However, after that things are going to get tricky for the Cubs.
The Cubs play their six games on the road, including a three-game stay in St. Louis against the division-leading Cardinals. That’s not going to be an easy weekend to wrap up the regular season and their postseason chances might come down to that. A strong push in the next couple of weeks and the Cubs might be fighting for the NL Central and not just a wildcard.
Taking care of business in the series finale against the Padres would help. Yu Darvish, who has been pitching at his best since his time as a Ranger, will get the nod in this one. The Padres are expected to go with rookie Dinelson Lamet against Darvish. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Padres pick.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres Pick:
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Yu Darvish had heard the criticism levied against him by observers regarding his lack of success the last couple of years. Maybe if he didn’t have such high expectations and getting paid the money he is then things would be fine. However, Darvish is supposed to be one the top pitchers in the major leagues. And certainly, that hasn’t been the case for him the last two seasons. Having said that, Darvish has shown flashes of why people believed in him to begin with.
Darvish has been looking good recently, with just 1-run allowed in his previous 13 innings pitched. In three out of his past four outings, Darvish has been right on point with 1 or no runs allowed. So, the talent and ability is still there with Darvish. I think it’s more mental with him. Whatever the case is at Wrigley Field, Darvish hasn’t been at his best in Chicago at home.
He’s looked much better on the road in 2019. In 87.1 innings working as a visitor, Darvish has posted an ERA of 3.30 and 1.03 WHIP. Compare that with his effort at home, where his numbers have gone south for a 5.14 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.
He will be on the road in San Diego against an opponent that have been useless against him for this one Thursday. The Padres have haven’t have much of a blueprint against Darvish, as they’ve been fooled for a .176 batting average in 51 at-bats. Darvish likely has a productive day against the Padres here.
Lamet hasn’t been particularly great in San Diego. One would think that pitcher’s friendly ballpark would help the youngster, but he’s preferred to pitch on the road. Lamet holds a 4.85 ERA at PetCo as opposed to a 3.19 ERA on the road. Lamet may not like pitching in San Diego, but I think Darvish is on Thursday. I’m siding with Darvish to the Cubs back on track and salvage this series with a split in San Diego.