Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Chicago Cubs (64-59) at Detroit Tigers (57-67)


Cubs vs. Tigers
The Cubs and Tigers this week meet for the first time since 2021, when Chicago took two of three games from Detroit at Comerica Park … since 2018, the Cubs are 6-4 vs. the Tigers after going 2-11 from 2006-15.

CUBS IN THE MOTOR CITY: The Chicago Cubs today begin a seven-game road trip with the first of three games in Detroit (also 4 games in Pittsburgh beginning Thursday) .. the club wrapped up its recent five-game homestand (3-2) yesterday, defeating the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, to take the three-game set, 2-1 … Seiya Suzuki and Miguel Amaya homered to pace the offense, while Kyle Hendricks (1 ER/6.1 IP) picked up his fifth win of the season.

Today marks the fourth (2-1) of 13-straight gamedays through Aug. 30 … the Cubs had three off days in an eight-day span through Aug. 17.

The Cubs are 8-5 in their last 13 games, 11-6 in their last 17 and 22-9 in their last 31 contests since July 18 … following play on July 20, the Cubs sat 7.0-games out of a wild-card spot and 8.5-games back of the division lead … the club enters today in the third wild card spot (1.0-game ahead of Arizona, Cincinnati and Miami) and 3.0-games back of division-leading Milwaukee.

This is the 12th game (6-5) in a stretch that sees Chicago play 13 of 18 games on the road through Aug. 27.

The Cubs +65 run differential ranks third in the N.L. behind the Braves (+212) and the Dodgers (+143).

THE SWINGMAN: Javier Assad is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season (23rd appearance) … he is one of two N.L. pitchers and one of five in the majors to have made at least 18 relief outings and four starts while posting an ERA of 3.11 or less this season (also Ryan Walker, Shawn Armstrong, Brennan Bernardino and Austin Pruitt).

In three starts since joining the Cubs rotation on Aug. 5, Assad is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA (5 ER/16.2 IP) and two quality starts.

SEIYA’S STRENGTH: Seiya Suzuki yesterday hit his fourth home run in 12 August games after hitting three in his previous 57 games combined from May 19-July 31 … his 12 home runs this season are two shy of his total from 2022 (14).

Suzuki since Aug. 9 has hit safely in eight of his nine games, batting .344 (11- for-32) with one double, one triple, three home runs and six RBI.

SAVED BY THE BELL-INGER: Cody Bellinger, July’s N.L. Player of the Month, this season is batting .324 (112-for-346) with 20 doubles, one triple, 20 homers, 64 RBI and 17 stolen bases … Bellinger and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. are the only major leaguers to have at least a .324 average, 20 home runs and 17 stolen bases this season.

Bellinger’s .324 average ranks fifth in the N.L. while his .561 slugging percentage is sixth and his .933 OPS is seventh.

He is just the second Cub since 1981 to primarily play center field and reach 20 homers in a season, joining Corey Patterson (24 HR in 2004).

SLAM THE DOOR: Adbert Alzolay has converted his last 14 save chances since July 5, the most in the majors during that stretch … the 14-straight converted save opportunities are the most by a Cub since Craig Kimbrel converted 16 consecutive save chances May 18-July 25, 2021.

Alzolay’s 18 saves on the season are the 10th most in the N.L.

The righthander has walked eight batters in 55.2 IP in 2023, good for an average of 1.29 walks per 9.0 IP, the fewest among N.L. pitchers and second-fewest in the majors (min. 40 G).

‘PENNING SOME THOUGHTS: The Cubs bullpen has posted a 3.93 season ERA (190 ER/435.0 IP), tied for the sixth-best mark in the N.L., while its 435.0 innings pitched are third-fewest in the N.L. … just Philadelphia (413.2 IP) and Milwaukee (425.2 IP) have needed fewer innings from its bullpens.

In his last 32 outings since May 28, Michael Fulmer has posted a 1.83 ERA (7 ER/34.1 IP) and a 1.05 WHIP, issuing 16 walks while striking out 37.

Mark Leiter Jr.’s 23 holds are tied for the second-most in the N.L. and tied for the fifth-most in the majors.

Julian Merryweather since July 22 has pitched to a 1.98 ERA (3 ER/13.2 IP) in 12 appearances.

INTERLEAGUE INTERLUDE: Today is the ninth of 11-straight games against the American League, a stretch that started with series in Toronto (2-1) and at home vs. the White Sox (1-1) and Royals (2-1).

Chicago is 8-4 in its last 12 interleague contests since July 15 and is 23-20 against the A.L. this season … the last season in which Chicago had a winning record against the A.L. was in 2020 (12-8).

NICE WORK BY NICO: Nico Hoerner has reached base in 30 of 33 games since the AllStar break, including a current 17-game on-base streak … Hoerner’s 192 total bases
this season are second on the club (Bellinger, 194).

Hoerner leads the team in hits (135) and runs scored (73) … his 32 stolen bases are fourth in the N.L. and his 135 hits are tied for seventh.

Hoerner’s 3.7 fWAR ranks fourth among major league second basemen and third among N.L. players at that position.

THE CANDY MAN CAN: Jeimer Candelario is second in the N.L. with 35 doubles between the Nationals and Cubs this season, trailing only the Dodgers Freddie Freeman (45) … his 55 extra-base hits (35 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs) are sixth-most in the N.L.

Candelario is hitting .364 (20-for-55) with a .444 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging mark in his first 16 games with the Cubs after he was acquired from the Nationals July 31 … the .364 average since August 1 is the third-highest in the N.L.

Starting Pitcher – #72 RHP Javier Assad (2-2, 3.11)
Last Time Out
Javier received a no-decision Aug. 16 vs. Chicago (A.L.) … has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six-straight starts dating to Sept. 29, 2022 … has a 1.54 ERA (7 ER/41.0 IP) in 13 outings (three starts) since June 16 … made his second-straight quality start … has a 2.70 ERA (5 ER/16.2 IP) in three starts since joining the rotation Aug. 5.

Date Opp. Result IP H R ER BB SO PC-S Left
8/16 CWS ND, 4-3 6.0 4 3 2 2 4 81-49 0-3

2023 Splits and Season Notes
Home 0-2 3.55 15 3 45.2 41 19 18 22 42
Road 2-0 2.14 7 1 21.0 14 5 5 6 7
AVG vs. LHB: .240 (25-for-104) / AVG vs. RHB: .221 (30-for-136)

Javier will make his 23rd appearance of the season (fifth start) today … has allowed six runs (five earned) in 16.2 IP (2.70 ERA) in three starts since being added to the rotation Aug. 5 … has pitched to a 1.38 ERA (6 ER/39.0 IP) in 12 outings (three starts) since June 27 … is 3-2 with a 3.04 ERA (19 ER/56.1 IP) in 12 career starts, compared to 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA (17 ER/48.0 IP) in 19 career relief outings … is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA (8 ER/32.2 IP) in nine career interleague games (three starts), including 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA (8 ER/27.2 IP) in eight interleague appearances (two starts) in 2023 … is holding the opponent to a .181 average (13-for-72) with 10 strikeouts against his cutter.

Aug. 11 in Toronto, earned the win tossing a career-high 7.0 innings.

From June 27-August 4, posted a 0.40 ERA (1 ER/22.1 IP) in nine relief outings, the second-lowest ERA among major league relievers during that span (min. 15.0 IP) … held opponents scoreless in eight of the nine outings.

Has made four starts over three stints with Triple-A Iowa in 2023 (April 10-20, April 21-May 3, May 12-24), going 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA (6 ER/14.2 IP).

Made his first career Opening Day roster, appearing in two games in relief (6 ER/4.1 IP) … was optioned to Iowa April 10.

Pitched in three games (one start) in spring training, posting a 2.57 ERA (2 ER/7.0 IP).

Pitched for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, tossing 5.2 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in two relief appearances.


TIGERS CLINCH SERIES WITH 4-1 WIN: The Tigers earned a series win against the Guardians with a 4-1 win on Sunday. Eduardo Rodriguez started and picked up his ninth win of the season, giving up one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Tyler Holton fanned one in 1.1 perfect innings, while Alex Lange threw a scoreless ninth for his 18th save. Offensively, Spencer Torkelson hit a two-run homer, his 22nd, and Kerry Carpenter blasted his 18th home run of the season, a solo shot. Akil Baddoo had a pair of hits and drove in a run.

ROSTER MOVES: The Tigers have announced the following roster moves:
*Following yesterday’s game, optioned INF Nick Maton to Triple A Toledo

*Recalled OF Parker Meadows from Triple A Toledo

FULLY TORKED: Spencer Torkelson continued his impressive stretch at the plate on Sunday, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, his team-leading 22nd of the season. Torkelson finished the road trip 11×31 with three doubles, five home runs and seven RBI. Since June 27, he ranks tied for second in the American League with 14 home runs, while he is tied for fifth with 34 RBI and eighth with a .573 slugging percentage.

KEEP CALM AND KERRY ON: Kerry Carpenter blasted a solo home run in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game, his 18th of the season and his seventh during August, which ranks tied for second in the American League. He has reached base safely in a career-best 17 straight games, which is tied for the third-longest active on-base streak in the AL. Over his last 17 games, he is batting .377/.433/.770 with three doubles, seven home runs and 12 RBI.

HOLTON PUTTING UP ZEROS: Tyler Holton struck out one in a perfect 1.1 innings of relief yesterday. Holton has not given up a run in eight outings during August, throwing 11.0 scoreless innings with one hit allowed, two walks and 13 strikeouts. For the season, Holton leads all American League relievers (min. 40.0 innings)
with a 0.84 WHIP, while he is fifth with a .169 opponents batting average and seventh with a 1.68 ERA.

AT COMERICA PARK: The Tigers tonight begin a 10-game homestand, which includes three games vs. Chicago (NL) (August 21-23), three games vs. Houston (August 25-27) and four games vs. New York (AL) (August 28-31). Detroit is 26-33 at Comerica Park this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .246/.309/.380 at home, while the pitching staff has a 4.67 ERA (541.0IP/281ER).

TIGERS AND CUBS: The Tigers and Cubs begin their only series of the season tonight. The two teams last met in 2021 with Chicago (NL) winning two-of-three games. Detroit has a 20-11 advantage in the all-time series, including a 9-7 edge at Comerica Park.

INTERLEAGUE ACTION: The Tigers continue their interleague schedule tonight against the Cubs. Detroit is 18-19 against National League foes this season, including a 6-4 record against NL Central teams. The Tigers have finished with a winning record against NL opponents in each of the last two seasons.


  • LHP Tyler Alexander (left lat/shoulder strain, 60-day IL on July 4, retroactive to July 3)
  • LHP Matthew Boyd (left elbow sprain, 60-day IL on June 27)
  • RHP Mason Englert (left hip tightness, 15-day IL on July 24, retroactive to July 23)
  • OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
  • RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
  • RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
  • RHP Spencer Turnbull (neck discomfort, 60-day IL on May 12, retroactive to May 7)


49 Alex Faedo • 2-4, 5.16 ERA (45.1IP/26ER)

  • Faedo will make his 10th start of the season tonight in the series opener vs. Chicago (NL).
  • Receivd a no decision in his last start on Tuesday at Minnesota, throwing 5.0 shutout innings with one hit allowed, one walk and six strikeouts.
  • Will be facing the Cubs for the first time in his career tonight… in 12 career starts at Comerica Park, Faedo is 2-6 with a 6.02 ERA (58.1IP/39ER) and 53 strikeouts.
  • Threw 6.0 shutout innings with one hit allowed, four walks and two strikeouts on July 23 vs. San Diego…marked his first career start with 6.0 scoreless frames.
  • Earne his first win of the season on May 25 vs. Chicago (AL), pitching 6.0 innings and allowing two runs on three hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts…became the third pitcher in franchise history to throw 6.0 innings with three-or-fewer hits allowed, no walks and 10-ormore strikeouts, joining Denny McLain on July 21, 1965 vs. Cleveland (Game 2) and Aníbal Sánchez on August 3, 2014 vs. Colorado.
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