The Chicago Cubs will go for their third win in a row as they welcome the Cleveland Indians to open a two-game series on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
Chicago (25-19) returns home to begin a five-game homestand against the Indians and the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs are coming off a 4-2 road trip and have a chance to set a new high-water mark for the season at seven games above .500 with a win.
Meanwhile, Cleveland (22-23) sits atop the American League Central despite a sub-.500 record. The Indians have dropped four of their past six games and have scored only one run in two of their past three.
The series marks the Indians’ first trip to Wrigley Field since the 2016 World Series. Cleveland won two of three games on Chicago’s North Side to seize a 3-2 series lead, but the Cubs rallied with two wins on the road to win their first title since 1908.
The teams met earlier this season in Cleveland, splitting a two-game series.
Cubs right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 3.14 ERA) will make his ninth start of the season. Chatwood started the season 0-3 but has pitched bettere. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his past six outings.
In four career games (three starts) against the Indians, Chatwood is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA. He has dodged trouble despite issuing 14 walks to go along with 14 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Cleveland will counter with right-hander Trevor Bauer (3-3, 2.59 ERA), who will make his 10th start. The 27-year-old is coming off a masterful performance in which he struck out 10 during eight scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers. He allowed four hits and did not walk a batter.
In two career games against the Cubs, Bauer has been nearly as dominant. He is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA, allowing one earned run in 13 2/3 innings. He has given up eight hits, walked six and struck out 15.
Behind Bauer, Melky Cabrera will mark his second game since joining the Indians. The veteran outfielder impressed his teammates in his debut as he threw out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros as he tried to advance from first base to third base.
“That’s how you introduce yourself to the team and get friends on your side real fast,” Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’ve been watching that for a long time. He still has a very accurate arm. I’m excited to see what he can bring to us.”
In the opposite dugout, Cubs manager Joe Maddon is eager to see Chatwood take another step forward since joining the team as a free agent during the offseason. He thinks Chatwood will improve along with starters Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana.
“They’re going to continue on that path,” Maddon said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “There is a break-in period, and there also was a bad-weather period. As their confidence goes, they’re going to go.”