Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. Cubs at Arizona
When: 9:40 PM ET, Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

The Chicago Cubs have been searching for someone to spark their struggling offense and may have found the answer in Kris Bryant, who has been slowed by shoulder inflammation for much of the season. Bryant is swinging with power again for the Cubs, who continue their three-game series against the host Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

Bryant and Javier Baez each homered while Kyle Hendricks took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning in Monday’s 5-1 victory as Chicago maintained its 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Cubs totaled only 15 runs in their previous seven contests but received a much-needed boost Monday from Bryant, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and is 16-for-50 with five doubles and five RBIs since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 1. Arizona was held to three hits in the series opener and fell to 4-12 this month with 11 games remaining. Paul Goldschmidt is 20-for-58 in 16 contests in September for the Diamondbacks, who are five games behind first-place Colorado in the NL West and also five back in the race for the second wild-card spot.

TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FS Arizona

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Mike Montgomery (4-5, 3.87 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Matt Andriese (3-5, 4.76)

Montgomery is set to make his career-high 17th start of the season after giving up two runs and three hits over four-plus frames in a no-decision against Washington on Thursday. The 29-year-old Californian began the season in the bullpen before moving into the rotation, where he is 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 starts. Montgomery owns a 1.69 ERA in three career games (one start) covering 10 2/3 innings versus the Diamondbacks.

Andriese is set to make his first start for Arizona in place of Clay Buchholz, who is out for the rest of the season due to an elbow injury. The 29-year-old made four starts for Tampa Bay before being traded in late July to the Diamondbacks, who have used him exclusively as a reliever. “We feel like he can get out there and execute a game plan,” manager Torey Lovullo told reporters. “We’re excited to see what he can do.”

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago's starting pitchers lead the majors with a 2.53 ERA since Aug. 16.

2. Arizona is 5-50 when trailing after seven innings.

3. Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber and INF Tommy La Stella did not make the trip to Arizona due to back injuries.

PREDICTION: Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. Cubs 88-62 W1 47-27 41-35 22-11 37-32 18-13 11-6
Arizona 78-73 L3 37-36 41-37 17-17 15-15 36-31 10-10
Last Meeting
Chi. Cubs Arizona
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/17/18 CHC 5 ARI 1 .257 2 .735 .100 1 .362
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs A. Almora Jr. .263 5 .632
Arizona P. Goldschmidt .333 6 1.034
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 1 2 4
Arizona A. Pollock 2 3 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 3.80 .222 42
Arizona 3.12 .230 45
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs B. Zobrist .314 128 .841
Arizona P. Goldschmidt .299 168 .954
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs J. Baez 32 94 105
Arizona P. Goldschmidt 33 94 83
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 3.63 .260 1229
Arizona 3.72 .236 1336