The Chicago Cubs will start the second half of their season with a seven-game road trip, starting Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Cubs (44-46, third in NL Central) limped their way to the All-Star break, losing 13 of 15 with an 11-game losing streak that featured five one-run losses. Chicago's slide has put it in sell mode, with team president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer already trading outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves for first baseman prospect Bryce Ball on Thursday night.
Pederson is the first player to be traded, and bigger names like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Craig Kimbrel could soon follow. The Cubs have 15 games until the July 30 trade deadline, and how they and their players viewed as trade bait fair will impact what trades Hoyer can do by the end of the month.
The Diamondbacks (26-66, fifth in NL West) hold the worst record in the MLB and have a clear vision of trading players to acquire future assets to build toward the future. Arizona had an awful June with a 3-24 record, including a 17-game losing streak, but is off to a better start in July with a 4-6 mark.
This upcoming weekend series will be the first of two three-game sets between the Cubs and Diamondbacks. The two teams meet again next weekend, July 23-25, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Cubs: Brad Wieck (heart), Rowan Wick (oblique), Kohl Stewart (elbow), Dillon Maples (tricep), Jonathan Holder (shoulder), Jake Arrieta (hamstring), Eric Sogard (thumb), Matt Duffy (back), David Bote (shoulder), Austin Romine (left wrist), Jose Lobaton (shoulder), P.J. Higgins (forearm)
Diamondbacks: Luke Weaver (shoulder), Zac Gallen (hamstring), Seth Frankoff (forearm), Chris Devenski (elbow), Tyler Clippard (shoulder), Taylor Clarke (lat), Ketel Marte (hamstring), Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring), Carson Kelly (wrist)
Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (11-4, 3.77 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Madison Bumgarner, LHP (4-5, 5.73 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Saturday: Adbert Alzolay, RHP (4-9, 4.66 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) vs. TBD
Sunday: Zach Davies, RHP (5-6, 4.37 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) vs. Merrill Kelly, RHP (5-7, 4.46 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
How to Watch
Friday: 8:40 PM, Marquee Sports Network
Saturday: 3:10 PM, Marquee Sports Network
Sunday: 3:10 PM, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
All times Central