The Cubs (40-46) just completed a very eventful series with the division rival Brewers that saw constant lead changes and dramatic rallies. Splitting the four-game set meant that Chicago could not make up any ground on Milwaukee and they even lost ground on the sizzling first-place Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs now head to New York to close out the first half with a matchup against the New York Yankees (48-40) .
The Bronx Bombers are basically tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. The starting rotation has struggled outside of ace Gerrit Cole, although Carlos Rodón is finally set to debut Friday after missing the first half of the season with an arm injury.
While the starters have struggled, the bullpen has been a revelation for New York with a 3.08 ERA, the best in baseball. Michael King, Wandy Peralta, and closer Clay Holmes are some of the standout arms in manager Aaron Boone‘s relief corps.
It’s a much different story for the Yankees offense, especially after 2022 MVP Aaron Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe running into/through the wall at Dodger Stadium in June. The team OPS of .711 is shockingly the 21st best in MLB but they still have a ton of power at the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium with 124 home runs. Former Cub Anthony Rizzo got off to a tremendous start before going absolutely ice cold; he is hitting .170 since June 1 and has not homered since May 20.
The Yankees are certainly not an unbeatable opponent, but the Cubs are going to have to be on their game in a very difficult environment to play. If they can put up runs, they have an excellent chance to keep a struggling New York lineup in check. It would be nice if they could get an early start on a big second-half surge.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 7 at 6:05pm CT on Marquee.
- Saturday, July 8 at 12:05pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
- Sunday, July 9 at 12:35pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
What to Watch For
- Cody Bellinger went 9-for-16 against the Brewers in four games and is the Cubs’ hottest hitter.
- Dansby Swanson‘s status for the series is uncertain after he missed Thursday with a bruised heel.
- The Yankees got thrashed by the Orioles at home 14-1 on Thursday night.
- Smyly has given up 17 runs in his last five starts after pitching very well to begin the season.