Series Preview: San Diego Padres (17-32) at Chicago Cubs (15-32)

Will the Cubs complete the hat trick of being swept by some of the worst teams in the NL? This time they have the additional challenge of getting swept at home.

Team Overviews

NL Rank in parens

  Padres Cubs
wOBA .278 (15th) .296 (14th)
UBR -4.4 (15th) 4.1 (1st)
UZR -1.7 (9th) 9.9 (5th)
DRS -7 (9th) 6 (5th)
SP FIP 3.98 (11th) 3.95 (10th)
RP FIP 3.74 (11th) 4.68 (16th)

The Cubs have already been swept by an NL team that has even worse offensive numbers. Now it's the Padres chance to bring up that average by feasting on the Cubs bullpen. The Cubs pen is the only one in the NL with a FIP above 4, and they have that beaten and then some.

Position players

Anthony Rizzo replacement Yonder Alonso has been their best hitter on the season with a .350 wOBA. As for the rest, the Padres have had four players post a sub .300 wOBA in over 100 PAs this year. The Cubs only have two (Stewart, Soto), though Soriano and Barney just miss the list. Cameron Maybin leads the Padres with 14 SB, and he, Wil Venable, and replacement level SS Andy Parrino lead the team in baserunning numbers. Not surprisingly, Alonso and C Nick Hundley are the major sinks in baserunning numbers. RF Chris Denorfia is projected to be their best defender, while Venable and Alonso are the worst.

Pitching Matchups

Monday: Jeff Suppan, LOL (4.21, 5.13, 5.43, 5.11) vs Travis Wood, LHP (3.86, 5.31, 4.28, 4.00), 1:20 PM CT

Jeff Suppan has made five starts with the Padres, throwing 25.2 innings and striking out just five batters. Any of those batters who weren't pitchers should just retire immediately.

Travis Wood followed up his serviceable start to the season with a pretty good one against the Astros. He looked a little shaky early but then bore down and had great stuff the rest of the way. I was surprised to see that he only struck out three batters in the start, and he was pulled in the 6th inning after throwing 97 pitches.

Tuesday: Eric Stults, LHP (1.96, 3.59, 4.51, 4.27), vs Jeff Samardzija, RHP (3.00, 2.96, 3.18, 3.95), 1:20 PM CT

Stults was a swingman/AAAA starter for the Dodgers for many years, and bounced around to the Rockies and White Sox before the Padres picked him up earlier this season after a DFA. He's an extreme fly ball pitcher who hasn't given up a HR yet this year, and has a K/BB ratio of one. On the other hand, he looks like the kind of guy the Padres always seem to get serviceable production from (cf. Kevin Correia).

Shark had another solid outing without any run support against the Astros. He was hitting 95 to 96 on his fastball on the stadium gun, and his splitter looked as nasty as it has all season. His walk rate sits at a bafflingly low 2.84 BB/9. ZiPS has him projected at a sub-4 FIP even with a projected 4.50 BB/9, and if that walk rate has Transformed then wow.

Wednesday: Anthony Bass, RHP (3.55, 3.52, 3.46, 4.01) vs Ryan Dempster, RHP (2.14, 2.70, 3.24, 3.88), 1:20 PM CT

Bass has been amazeballs as a starter this year, and has nearly doubled his strikeout rate from relieving last year. He was hammered in his last start by the Mets.

Dempster pitched into the 8th inning in his last start, giving up one run and taking the loss. He just doesn't want to win.


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