Standing: 5th in NL Central
Batting Average: Starlin Castro, .276
Home Runs: Anthony Rizzo, 20
ERA: Travis Wood, 4.96
The Cubs are again flailing in last place in the NL Central, 12 games back of first and 8.5 back of the fourth-place Pirates. Out of the playoff race, the Cubs were early sellers at the trade deadline, participating in the biggest deal to date. They sent starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with MLB starter Dan Straily.
There isn't much hope for the Cubs this season, but the future looks bright. They have a loaded farm system that includes infielders Russell, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kris Bryant, and outfielders McKinney and Jorge Soler.
Game 1, Friday 6:40 PT: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.64 ERA, 4.26 FIP) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (1-6, 5.66 ERA, 4.15 FIP)
Jackson has struggled in the Windy City this season, including his last outing in which he gave up nine runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings in a loss to the Atlanta Braves. He's been horrific on the road this season, going 1-7 with a 6.05 ERA in ten starts outside of Wrigley Field. He has produced a quality start in just five of his 19 starts. Cahill is making his first major league start since April 15th after a decent stretch (3.86 ERA over six starts) in Triple-A Reno. He is 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in eight appearances at home this season.
Game 2, Saturday 5:10 PT: LHP Travis Wood (7-8, 4.96 ERA, 4.29 FIP) vs. LHP Wade Miley (5-6, 4.18 ERA, 3.96 FIP)
Wood has struggled since his strong start to 2014, including his last start where he gave up seven runs over six innings in a loss against the Braves. He is 2-4 with a 5.29 ERA in six career starts against Arizona. Miley was just heating up as the first half came to a close, giving up just three runs and striking out 22 batters over his last 21.2 innings (three starts). Miley is 1-5 with a 5.64 ERA in his ten home starts this season.
Game 3, Sunday 1:10 PT: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-1, 1.95 ERA, 2.14 FIP) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (7-5, 3.80 ERA, 3.97 FIP)
Arrieta has been incredible thus far in 2014, and is coming off of a start where he gave up three runs over 7.2 innings against Atlanta. His 1.95 ERA in his 13 starts since May 1st is second only to Dodgers left hander Clayton Kershaw. Collmenter wrapped up his first half strong, giving up just a run over seven innings in a no decision against the Marlins. He is 5-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 13 home appearances (nine starts) this season.