Thursday, June 13, 2024
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MLB Preview: Chicago Cubs (65-60) at Detroit Tigers (58-68)


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 7-5 vs. the Tigers after going 2-11 from 2006-15.

THE RUBBER MATCH IN THE MOTOR CITY: The Chicago Cubs today play the rubber match of the three-game set vs. Detroit … the club took the series opener, 7-6, on
Monday night, before dropping yesterday’s contest, 8-6 … the clubs scored 13 combined runs in the first five innings with Chicago trailing 7-6, but the Cubs could not score again … Dansby Swanson homered and drove in four, while Jeimer Candelario recorded two extra-base hits (double, home run).

Chicago is 8-1-1 in its last 10 series dating to July 17.

Today marks game three (1-1) of this seven-game road trip and is the sixth (3-2) of 13-straight gamedays through Aug. 30 … the Cubs had three off days in an eight-day span through Aug. 17.

The Cubs are 9-6 in their last 15 games, 12-7 in their last 19 and 23-10 in their last 33 games 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 second wild card spot (0.5-game ahead of San Francisco, Cincinnati and Arizona) and 3.5-games back of division-leading Milwaukee.

This is the 14th game (7-6) in a stretch that sees Chicago play 13 of 18 games on the road through Aug. 27.

The Cubs +64 run differential ranks third in the N.L. behind the Braves (+206) and the Dodgers (+143).

TWO HALVES OF A SEASON: Jameson Taillon in his last eight starts since July 7 is 5-2 with a 3.69 ERA (19 ER/46.1 IP) … he began the season 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA (28 ER/31.1 IP) in his first eight starts … prior to June 2, his eight-straight starts without a win was his longest draught since 2018 (9 games, April 14-May 27, 2018).

Since July 7, Taillon has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his eight starts and completed at least 6.0 innings in four of those outings.

SEIYA LATER!: Seiya Suzuki has hit safely in five-straight games and 10 of his last 11 since Aug. 9, batting .385 (15-for-39) with one double, one triple, four home runs and seven RBI.

Suzuki has hit five home runs in 14 August games after hitting five in his previous 59 games combined from May 17-July 31.

His 99 hits, 13 home runs and 51 RBI this season are approaching his season-marks from 2022 (104 hits, 14 home runs, 54 RBI).

THE CANDY MAN CAN: Jeimer Candelario yesterday recorded his ninth game this season with multiple extra-base hits, tied for the sixth-most in the N.L.

Candelario is second in the N.L. with 36 doubles between the Nationals and Cubs this season, trailing only Freddie Freeman (45) … his 57 extra-base hits (36 doubles, three triples, 18 home runs) are sixth-most in the N.L.

Candelario is hitting .349 (22-for-63) with a .423 OBP and a .545 SLG in his first 18 games with the Cubs after he was acquired from the Nationals July 31 … the .349 average since August 1 is the fourth-highest in the N.L.

SAVED BY THE BELL-INGER: Cody Bellinger, July’s N.L. Player of the Month, this season is batting .321 (114-for-355) with 21 doubles, one triple, 20 homers, 65 RBI and 17 stolen bases … Bellinger and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. are the only major leaguers to have at least a .321 average, 20 home runs and 17 stolen bases this season.

Bellinger’s .321 average ranks fifth in the N.L. while his .555 slugging percentage is sixth and his .924 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 tied for 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 third-fewest in the majors (min. 40 G).

‘PENNING SOME THOUGHTS: The Cubs bullpen has posted a 3.96 season ERA (195 ER/443.0 IP), while its 443.0 innings pitched are third-fewest in the N.L. … just Philadelphia (419.2 IP) and Milwaukee (429.2 IP) have needed fewer innings from its bullpens.

Mark Leiter Jr.’s 23 holds are the third-most in the N.L. and the sixth-most in the majors.

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

Daniel Palencia has made three-straight scoreless outings and has held the opponent without a run in 11 of his 14 major league games.

INTERLEAGUE INTERLUDE: Today is the 11th (6-4) and final 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 9-5 in its last 14 interleague contests since July 15 and is 24-21 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).

The Cubs have scored 223 runs in interleague play this season (5.0 runs per game), the most in the majors.

Starting Pitcher – #50 RHP Jameson Taillon (7-8, 5.56)
Last Time Out

Jameson on Aug. 18 suffered his eighth loss of the season vs. Kansas City (2 ER/6.0 IP) … has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts dating to July 7 (3.69 ERA) … is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA (8 ER/22.1 IP) in his last four starts at Wrigley Field since July 18 … has walked two or fewer batters in 19 of his 22 starts this season.

Date Opp. Result IP H R ER BB SO PC-S Left
8/18 KC L, 3-4 6.0 6 4 2 0 3 91-65 3-4
2023 Splits and Season Notes
Home 3-5 5.85 12 12 60.0 79 44 39 14 56
Road 4-3 5.22 10 10 50.0 40 31 29 18 38
AVG vs. LHB: .277 (61-for-220) / AVG vs. RHB: .271 (58-for-214)

Jameson will make his 23rd start of the season, his 11th on the road and ninth in interleague play … is 8-11 with a 4.54 ERA (78 ER/154.2 IP) in 28 career interleague starts, including 1-5 with a 6.38 ERA (30 ER/42.1 IP) in eight starts in 2023 … has lost back-to-back starts after winning four-straight from July 23-Aug. 8 … has walked two or fewer in 19 of his 22 outings this season … has pitched to a 5.85 ERA (39 ER/60.0 IP) in 12 starts at Wrigley Field, compared to a 5.22 ERA (29 ER/50.0 IP) in 10 starts on the road … his 32 walks are the sixth-fewest in the N.L. among pitchers with at least 20 starts.

From July 7-Aug. 8, went 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA (9 ER/37.1 IP) in six starts, tied for the fifth-lowest ERA in the majors during the run … allowed three or fewer runs in all six starts.

Threw a season-high 109 pitches July 23 vs. the Cardinals … were his most since throwing 110 April 8, 2018, vs. the Reds while with the Pirates.

tossed 8.0, one-hit, scoreless innings in a 3-0 win July 7 at Yankee Stadium … was the first pitcher with at least 8.0 innings and one or fewer hits allowed on the road at Yankee Stadium since Baltimore’s Daniel Cabrera did so in 2006 … was also the first former Yankee to go a least 8.0 frames and allow no more than
one hit in a game at Yankee Stadium (old or new).

Made his first quality start as a Cub June 13 vs. Pittsburgh (3 ER/6.0 IP).

Earned his first win as a Cub June 2 in San Diego (1 ER/5.2 IP) … had previously gone eight-straight starts without a win, the third time in his career that he had failed to win in at least eight-straight starts in the same season (last 9 G, April 14-May 27, 2018).

Walked two or fewer batters in 16-straight starts from Aug. 14, 2022-May 9, 2023 … at the time, marked the fifth-longest active streak among major league starting pitchers.

Began his stint on the 15-day injured list April 20 (retroactive to April 17) with a left groin strain … was activated on May 4.

went 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA (8 ER/18.1 IP) with 23 strikeouts, compared to no walks, during Spring Training … was the only pitcher in the Cactus League with at least 10.0 IP to not walk a batter


TIGERS EVEN SERIES WITH 8-6 WIN: The Tigers defeated the Cubs, 8-6, on Tuesday night. Andy Ibáñez hit a pair of home runs and drove in four, while Parker Meadows also had two hits, including a triple, and a walk. Kerry Carpenter added a pair of RBI and went 1×2 with two walks. Reese Olson started for the Tigers and threw 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Detroit’s bullpen combined for 4.1 scoreless innings, led by Tyler Holton and Brendan White, who each threw 1.1 shutout frames and Alex Lange, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 19th save.

IBÁÑEZ GOES DEEP TWICE: Andy Ibáñez launched a pair of home runs in last night’s game, hitting a solo shot in the first inning and a three-run blast in the fourth. It marked his first career multi-homer game and gave him nine home runs for the season, a new single-season career high. Over his last 14 games, he is hitting .310/.341/.500 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI.

ALL ABOUT THAT BASE: Kerry Carpenter was on base four times in last night’s game, going 1×2 with two RBI, two walks and a hit by pitch. He has reached base safely in a career-best 19 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest active on-base streak in the AL. Over his last 19 games, he is batting .397/.468/.809 with four doubles, eight home runs and 15 RBI.

HOLTON PUTTING UP ZEROS: Tyler Holton threw a perfect 1.1 innings in relief last night, picking up his third win of the season. Holton has not given up a run in nine outings during August, throwing 12.1 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 0.82 WHIP, while he is fifth with a .166 opponents batting average and sixth with a 1.64 ERA.

AT COMERICA PARK: The Tigers are 1-1 on their current 10-game homestand, which includes three games vs. Chicago (NL) (1-1), three games vs. Houston (August 25-27) and four games vs. New York (AL) (August 28-31). Detroit is 27-34 at Comerica Park this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .248/.312/.386 at home, while the
pitching staff has a 4.70 ERA (559.0IP/292ER).

TIGERS AND CUBS: The Tigers and Cubs conclude their only series of the season this afternoon. The two teams last met in 2021 with Chicago (NL) winning two-of-three games. Detroit has a 21-12 advantage in the all-time series, including a 10-8 edge at Comerica Park.

INTERLEAGUE ACTION: The Tigers continue their interleague schedule today against the Cubs. Detroit is 19-20 against National League foes this season, including a 7-5 record against NL Central teams. The Tigers have finished with a winning record against NL opponents in each of the last two seasons.

ON DECK: After an off day tomorrow, the Tigers continue their 10-game homestand on Friday as they open a three-game series against the Astros. Detroit won two-of-three games from Houston with the two teams met earlier this season at Minute Maid Park.

INJURY REHAB UPDATES: Spencer Turnbull and Mason Englert each continued their injury rehab assignments with Triple A Toledo last night. Turnbull started and threw 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Englert gave up five runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 2.1 innings.


  • 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)


29 Tarik Skubal • 3-2, 3.76 ERA (38.1IP/16ER)

  • Skubal will make his ninth start of the season this afternoon in the series finale vs. Chicago (NL).
  • Earned his third win of the season on Friday in the first game of the doubleheader at Cleveland, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
  • Has faced the Cubs just once in his career, taking the loss on May 14, 2021 after allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6.0 innings…in 34 career outings, including 32 starts, at Comerica Park, Skubal has an 11-12 record with a 3.10 ERA (177.0IP/61ER) and 180 strikeouts.
  • Picked up his first win of the season on July 24 vs. San Francisco, throwing 5.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, no walks and nine strikeouts…was his first Major League win since July 21, 2022.
  • Did not allow a run in his first two starts this season…had a streak of 27.0 innings without giving up an earned run, dating back to July 13, 2022.
  • Made his season debut for Detroit on July 4 vs. Oakland, throwing 4.0 hitless innings with no walks and six strikeouts…his only baserunner came on a hit by pitch…marked his first start in the Majors since August 1, 2022 vs. Minnesota.

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