It’s Sesame Street Day at Wrigley, so the Cubs should see about giving their young fans a few more runs to count than the three combined tallies they’ve managed so far. That starts with Zach McKinstry at second base, Ian Happ in left, and Yan Gomes behind the plate. Franmil Reyes will be the DH, David Bote is at third, Alfonso Rivas is at first, and Nelson Velázquez handles right. Michael Hermosillo is in center and Christopher Morel mans short.
Javier Assad is making his fifth start, the most recent of which resulted in his first career win. It was also his longest appearance as he held the Mets to just one run over six innings. Assad hasn’t been dominant by any stretch, walking 10 against 18 strikeouts and giving up 20 hits in 21.1 innings, but gotten a lot of good fortune and has pitched his way around jams.
Going for the Rockies is 26-year-old Ryan Feltner, who has made 15 starts out of 16 total appearances and has a 6.12 ERA with a 4.87 FIP. Oddly enough, his performance has been better at Coors Field this season. While his ERA is slightly higher at home, he’s giving up a .300 average and .373 wOBA on the road against a nearly identical number of batters.
Feltner is mainly a fastball/slider pitcher, though his mid-90s four-seam has cost the Rockies over 10 runs this season and the slider is basically neutral. The real issue is that he just doesn’t miss bats with anything, generating a mere 8.7% swinging-strike rate that ranks 138th out of 166 pitchers who’ve thrown at least 70 innings this season.
He has managed to do a little bit better in terms of getting called strikes, but he’s still 100th with 26.3% called-plus-swinging-strike rate. Feltner has allowed at least three runs in each of his last four starts and he’s given up that many in 11 of 16 appearances overall, so the Cubs should be able to push a few runs across in the early going this afternoon.
First pitch from Wrigley is at 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 18, 2022