FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB the Show, Cubs at Padres, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Cubs and Padres head to the Polo Grounds at 2 PM ET.

In light of how unlikely it is that professional sports will be played in California until at least the end of summer, we’re relocating in both time and space to play this game at the Polo Grounds. Opened in 1890 to replace the previous, less famous Polo Grounds, it was the home of the (baseball) New York Giants for three decades and the New York Jets in the AFL for a few years. It was demolished in 1964, leading pitching Dick Donovan to quip, upon seeing the rubble, that there “must have had a helluva game there last night.”

The Cubs (22-23) struggled through the first quarter of the season but have rebounded of late with five straight wins after sweeping the Brewers and taking two of three from the reigning champion Nationals. Chicago is in third place in the NL Central, 7 1/2 games back, a sizable deficit but one that has steadily shrunk as the Reds have gone from 21-2 to 29-15 over the last three weeks. Eugenio Suárez still leads the NL in position player WAR, but Kris Bryant has been blazing hot and is now in fourth in the league with a scorching .377/.464/.748 seasonal line. Anthony Rizzo, on the other hand, has not been — will his OPS, now under .650, get a boost thanks to the 258-foot right field fence at the Polo Grounds?

The Padres (19-25) have dropped three straight, resulting in a last-place tie with the San Francisco Giants. The one bright spot for a comeback is that the Dodgers have been stomping the division and at 22-20, are looking up at the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the standings. Zach Davies (1-3, 4.21 ERA) gets the start for the Padres. He’s coming off a rough loss to the Dodgers in which he walked six batters in the third and fourth innings en route to a 7-1 rout. After a solid-but-unspectacular first season in San Diego, Manny Machado has struggled in 2020, hitting .218/.276/.321. The Padres seem likely to call up MacKenzie Gore soon (he has a 2.08 ERA with a strikeout an inning in Triple-A), but the path to the playoffs is going to necessarily involve Machado playing up to expectations.

Comments are closed.