Tennessee leads the North Division early in the second half and will be hungry to extend that lead at the expense of the Biscuits who need to pick up the series win in order to maintain the pace of the South Division race. This is my favorite series of the regular season!
Let the puns continue -
ON THE PLATEFor this matchup the first order of business is for Biscuit starters to be hot and fluffy in the heat of "the oven" instead of flaking out and going flat. The Smokies are able to make toast of fat pitches and will have no problems battering biscuit tossers if the Skitz hurlers dont put them on a strict diet of breaking balls.
SERIES VS TENNESEE SMOKIES
STARTING JUNE 29th
|Mgr Bailey vs Biscuits|
Veteran manager Buddy Bailey has over 1500 wins and puts his teams into contention on a regular basis, regardless of the depth of talent on the team. Bailey seems able to have pulled the best results from the rosters has been given, seemingly before most of his current wards were born. He is a former catcher himself and has done much to improve the Cubs catching, which was in a sad state for some time!
Rafael Lopez - Fla state collegiate, lefty hitter has four homers and .253 average in 51 games
1b Justin Bour - big first sacker has five homers, is a lefty power surge waiting to happen
1b Jonathan Mota - .245 and five homers, from Valencia Venezuela
ss Elliot Soto- glove man, smooth defensive infielder
2b Ron Torreyes - right handed Venezuelan is hitting .262
3b Christian Villanueva - 8 homers from the Mexican third baseman. On the Cubs 40 man roster
Anthony Ginsanti - florida native is hitting .257 this season
Matt Szczur - Cubs prospect is batting .300 with 17 stolen bases. On the Cubs 40 man roster
Rubi Silva - 9 homers, 8 sb from the Cuban lefty hitting outfielder
Frank Batista, Dominican righty has ten saves as the Smokies closer
Trey McNutt - Alabama native has two wins, two saves and five losses out of the Smokies pen. On the Cubs 40 man roster DL'd on 6/28
Kevin Rhoderick - two saves in 21 games from the Arizona native this season
Zach Rosscup - Oregonian lefty has one win, one save, 25 games and a great 2.05 era. Leads Smokies with over 31%Kswinging rate.
Spot starter Yeiper Castillo oh and two as a smokie thru 6/27
Dae-Eun Rhee - on disabled list/rehab
P.J. Francescon - right hander from tennessee is a recent addition to the smokies bullpen, was starting in high-A Daytona until the promotion. Has 85% ground ball rate!
Jeffry Antigua - veteran lefty reliever added 6/28
Tony Zych - in 25 games the Illinois native has two wins and four losses to go with a 3.66 era
Starter Erik Jokisch has 15 starts, one complete game, a 3.57 era and five wins this season, and could get a start in the series, but wasnt listed in the probable pitchers at this writing.
Alberto Cabrera - Six foot-four inch tall Dominican right hander is 7-3 with a 3.53 era in 15 starts. On the Cubs 40 man roster
Austin Kirk - Lefty from Ok, 1w-1L in four double-A starts since promotion from Daytona.
Kyle Hendricks 8-2 with a splendid 2.17 era in 15 starts, attended Dartmouth
Dallas Beeler - in nine starts the big Oklahoman has a great 3.13 era and four wins
A.J.Morris - Texan right hander has been in 18 games, making four starts towards a two win and zero loss record. One of the best BABIP pitchers for Smokies.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Someone is going to be toast this weekend and it might be the fans who will be baked in the heat of "the oven". Temps are starting to soar into the 90's and we shall soon see what, if anything, the team has planned for fans to beat the heat!
The Smokies were not much to write home about in the first half but have been given a shakeup over the past few weeks and it seems to have given them life. As a result, they are without prospect infielder Jae Hoon Ha and Ty Wright, both promoted to triple-A in recent weeks. This could affect their play in this five game set.
The Biscuits usually play to the level of their opponents, so I expect a tough series at home, and each game should be close in score, except the blowout game that the Skitz seem to have once a homestand.
Biscuits and Smokies are both good with grape jelly and both score runs at about the same rate, though in different ways. Look for the Smokies to run the bases with team speed that the Biscuits have had trouble stopping in previous homestands. Expect the Biscuit defense to be a difference maker in the series, the team with the fewest errors afield is usually the one that takes the series.
Look for the Biscuits to continue to be vexed by the long ball now that the weather has warmed, Skitz pitchers are already the most generous givers of the gopher ball. On the other side of the coin, Montgomery hitters have the most trouble reaching the fences and are last in the league in homers.
However we lead the league in triples, and have more than three times as many as some clubs, which shows we can run a little bit.