— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 5, 2018
The Cubs return home to Wrigley Field Tuesday evening and they welcome the Gabe Kapler led Philadelphia Phillies to town. An old friend, Jake Arrieta, will be joining them for the trip, but he is not scheduled to pitch against the Cubs.
Kyle Hendricks gets the ball for the Cubs tonight, and he will try to keep down a Phillies offense that put just one run on the board during a three-game sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants this past weekend. Oh by the way, that one run came on a home run by Jake Arrieta.
Hendricks enters Tuesday’s contest with a 4-4 record and a 3.19 ERA/4.40 FIP on the 2018 season, and is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last outing. Hendricks has looked mostly himself throughout the early going of this season, but keeping the ball in the park has been a bit of an issue. Hendricks has already allowed 11 home runs this season, which already puts him close to matching his totals from the last three years (17,15,17). Hendricks faced the Phillies once during the 2017 season, throwing seven innings of two-run baseball while striking out eighth at Citizens Bank Park.
Opposing Hendricks will be Philadelphia righty Zach Eflin. Eflin enters the game with a 1-2 record and a 4.50 ERA/3.81 FIP in just five starts this season. Though it’s only in 26 innings pitched, Eflin is currently sporting a 10.04 K/9 which would be by far the highest of his career. Eflin had a rough go of it in his last start in LA, allowing five runs in just four innings of work against the Dodgers. Eflin has a wide variety of pitches in his arsenal, including a 4-seam fastball, sinker, slider, curveball, and changeup. Lefties have put up big numbers against Eflin this year, posting a .379 wOBA, so if I’m channeling my inner-Evan here, I wouldn’t be surprised to see guys like Zobrist, Heyward, and Schwarber have big nights against Eflin.
The Cubs will send a fairly familiar lineup to the plate against Eflin, with the main note being Addison Russell‘s absence as he rests a finger issue that popped up during the Mets series this past weekend. Albert Almora gets the nod in center against a righty, and Joe Maddon continues to ride the Ben Zobrist/Jason Heyward connection at the top of the lineup to set the table in front of Bryzzo.