Guardians (40-42) at Cubs (39-43) Game Preview | Sunday 7/2 5:05 PM. EST.

July 2, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Chicago Cubs

3 Things Preview Guardians at Cubs:

1 – Civale finger nightmare 

It was almost exactly two years ago today. Back on June 21st, 2021, Aaron Civale was on the bump in Wrigley with a league-leading 10 wins and on his way to having a huge season when he injured his finger and missed multiple weeks on the IL.  

Since that moment, Civale has been battling to get back to that elite level, and he’s on the mound today, returning to Wrigley Field for the first time since his injury back in 2021. 

2 – Super Rosario 

Amed Rosario is enjoying his time on the north side of Chicago so far in this series. He is 3 for 9 with 2 RBIs in the two games.  

3 – 5:05p EST 

The Guardians and Cubs have moved their start time to 5:05p EST due to the weather in Chicago. 

Guardians Notes

On Sunday, Aaron Civale will be given the opportunity to start. In his previous outing against the Brewers, Civale encountered some difficulties, allowing four runs in six innings. Despite his performance, he did not receive a decision as the Guardians lost that game. Civale, a seasoned player who has been hampered by injuries for a significant portion of the season, is returning to bolster the Guardians’ pursuit of the top spot in their division. Throughout the year, Civale has proven to be dependable, maintaining a solid 3.18 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. With a 2-2 record in 39.2 innings pitched, his contributions have been valuable. Moreover, Civale has demonstrated his ability to contain the Cubs, limiting them to only two runs over 10 innings in his career.

Last season, Cleveland emerged as the victors of the AL Central and has since narrowed the gap with the Minnesota team, currently trailing them by only one game. They have recently triumphed in two out of their last three series, securing a victory against the Brewers last weekend and another against the Royals this week. Notably, the team’s hitting has begun to display more consistent performance. Their record stands at 6-4 in their last ten games.

Although Andres Gimenez had an impressive season in 2022, his productivity has dipped this year. However, there is positive news as he appears to be heating up, accumulating eight RBIs in his past ten games. As a 24-year-old second baseman, Gimenez now boasts 28 RBIs and a .674 OPS for the season. Unfortunately, in Friday’s loss, he went 0 for 4 at the plate.

Cleveland’s offensive output currently ranks 26th in the league, averaging 3.98 runs per game. On the other hand, their pitching has been performing well, boasting a team ERA of 3.82, which places them in seventh position.

Guardians Stats and Insights

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Aaron Civale

  • Civale and his team have a record of 4-3-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The right-hander gave up four earned runs and allowed six hits in six innings pitched against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
  • Civale has two starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • He has made seven appearances and finished two of them without allowing an earned run.
  • Civale’s team has been victorious in 50% of the games he’s started as the moneyline favorite with a record of 2-2.
  • Civale’s team has won three of his seven starts this season.
  • Games Civale has started this season and hit the over three times in seven chances.

GUARDIANS HITTING TRENDS

  • The Guardians have put up two or more home runs in 12 games this season, and are 10-2 in those contests.
  • Cleveland has gone 11-5 in its 16 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team has notched at least eight hits 49 times this season and has a 27-22 record in those games.
  • Cleveland has a 22-5 record in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Guardians are 13-9 over the 22 games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Cubs Notes

Jameson Taillon will take the mound to wrap up the series. In his previous start, Taillon struggled, allowing five runs in five innings against the Orioles, but he did manage to strike out eight batters. Unfortunately, the veteran pitcher has been having a disappointing season, with a high 6.90 ERA, a 1.55 WHIP, and a 2-6 record in 58.2 innings pitched. However, in his last season’s meeting with the Guardians, Taillon only gave up one run in five innings, and overall, he has a 3.94 ERA and a 1-2 record in three career matchups spanning 16 innings.

The Chicago team has shown inconsistency this season. They had a four-game winning streak but then suffered three consecutive losses before a convincing 10-1 victory on Friday. They recently experienced a sweep by the Phillies, largely due to shaky pitching that resulted in conceding 16 runs. Currently, the Cubs hold a 5-5 record in their last ten games and are just four games behind the Central division leaders.

A standout player for Chicago is Christopher Morel. The 24-year-old center fielder has been impressive, accumulating five RBIs in his last six games. In just 41 games played this season, Morel has recorded 14 home runs, 34 RBIs, and an impressive .941 OPS. In Friday’s victory, he went 1 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs. However, Seiya Suzuki’s availability for the game is uncertain.

On average, Chicago scores 4.60 runs per game, placing them 13th in the league. Their pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.96, also ranking them 13th overall.

Cubs Stats and Insights

CUBS PROBABLE PITCHER – Jamison Taillon

  • Taillon (2-6 with a 6.90 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings pitched) gets the start for the Cubs, his 14th of the season.
  • The right-hander’s last appearance was on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he threw five innings, surrendering five earned runs while allowing seven hits.
  • Taillon is trying for his sixth straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages 4.5 innings per start.
  • He has made one appearance this season in which he did not surrender an earned run.
  • The Cubs are 1-5 in Taillon’s six starts this season they were the moneyline underdog.
  • Taillon’s team is 2-11 in his 13 starts.
  • Taillon’s starts with a set total this season have gone over the run total in seven of 13 games.

CUBS HITTING TRENDS

  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 31 games this season and are 18-13 in those matchups.
  • In 15 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 13-2.
  • They have a record of 38-15 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • Chicago has won 30 of its 38 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 30 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 16-14

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Cleveland Guardians are displaying impressive performance in their baseball games, currently standing just one game behind the top spot in the AL Central. With six victories in their last ten games leading up to Saturday, they have shown consistency on the field. On the other hand, the Chicago Cubs have struggled recently, suffering four losses in their previous five games.

Adding to the Guardians’ strength, their starting pitcher Aaron Civale has been consistently dependable. He has managed to allow two or fewer runs in four of his last five starts, even against formidable opponents like the Twins, Red Sox, and Padres. In contrast, the Cubs’ starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is having a difficult season and cannot be counted on. In his five starts this month, he has recorded a disappointing 5.60 ERA, with a particularly disastrous 7.44 ERA when playing at home. The Cubs have suffered defeats in three of his last four outings.

Our Pick: Take the Guardians and the Money Line

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