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Toronto Blue Jays vs Chicago Cubs: Lineups, preview and prediction (8/19)

Chicago will try to defend their division lead, and dash Toronto's playoff hopes in the process.


Chicago took yesterday’s game at Wrigley 7-4. 

Toronto scored one run in the top of the first, putting them up 1-0 before the Cubs put up three in the bottom of the second thanks to a string of hits by Jason Heyward, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora Jr. In the fifth they added two more with an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo, putting them up 5-1.

The Blue Jays made a late comeback effort in the eighth but fell short after scoring only three runs. The Cubs answered with two more of their own in the bottom of the eighth, with closer Wade Davis coming in to seal the deal in the ninth with a perfect inning. 

Game 2 Starters – Nick Tepesch (RHP) vs Jose Quintana (LHP)

Tepesch isn’t exactly a household name, and there is a reason for that. After making two starts for the Twins back in May, the 28-year-old righty has spent most of 2017 in AAA. He was acquired by the Blue Jays in July and was called up a just couple weeks ago. In three starts this season he has a 5.25 ERA and 1.92 WHIP. He earned his first win since 2014 last week, pitching six innings and allowing one run against the Rays. 

Since being traded to the Cubs in July, Quintana has been up and down. In 35 innings for Chicago, the lefty has allowed 15 runs and struck out 38. As a member of the White Sox, he faced Toronto once earlier in the season, going seven strong and allowing just two runs while striking out five and walking two. He has a 4.33 ERA on the season. 

Lineups

Blue Jays LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Bautista, RF20.314.323
Donaldson, 3B20.268.394
Smoak, 1B33.297.372
Pearce, LF12.268.339
Pillar, CF12.249.300
Refsnyder, 2B0.222.323
Lopez, C0.063.167
Barney, SS3.219.266
Tepesch, P0.000.000
Cubs LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Jay, CF2.290.385
Schwarber, LF20.204.321
Bryant, 3B23.290.402
Rizzo, 1B28.270.388
Zobrist, 2B8.224.315
Avila, C3.207.303
Heyward, RF8.252.311
Baez, SS20.272.310
Quinatana, P0.111.111

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Josh Donaldson continues his hot streak, batting .370 this month and .458 in his last seven games. In that seven-game span, he has hit five home runs and driven in ten, striking out just five times in 29 plate appearances. Steve Pearce is seeing the ball well lately also, with just one strikeout in his last 24 plate appearances. During this spell he is hitting .318 and has an OPS of .966. 

Darwin Barney is as cold as cold can get, hitting .186 in his last 15 games with just 12 total bases in 43 at-bats. Jose Bautista’s struggles continue. In the past week, he’s hit .150 and slugged a mere .250 while striking out 8 times in 26 plate appearances. 

Javier Baez is slugging .705 in August. In 16 games he has hit seven home runs, one double, and one triple, which accounts for nine of his 19 hits in the month. During that time he has also driven in 18 and scored 13 times. Anthony Rizzo is hitting .400 in his last 30 at-bats, with two home runs and 12 RBIs, and a stolen base. 

Ben Zobrist can’t seem to figure it out at the plate as of late. He’s hitting .200 in the last week while striking out five times in 20 at-bats. Not necessarily a hitter known for his remarkable power, he still hasn’t left the yard in 30 consecutive games. 

Prediction: Cubs 8 – Blue Jays 3

Yesterday’s game wasn’t close, and I don’t figure today’s to be. With Quintana on the mound, the Cubs are always in a good position to win, even if he hasn’t been his old self as of late. Even if Chicago’s lefty gives up a few runs, it’s hard to imagine a 28-year-old recent AAA call-up stifling the Cubs heavy-hitting lineup. 

Where to Watch

Today’s game will be broadcast on RSN and WLS, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers. 

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Toronto Blue Jays vs Chicago Cubs: Lineups, preview and prediction (8/19)

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