After beating up Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies, the North Siders will face the Miami Marlins on the road and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field this week. CSN's Todd Hollandsworth talks about it in the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda Dealers.
After winning their first road series since last September, the Cubs will try and keep that momentum going as they head down to South Beach to face a Marlins team that has played better than expected through the first third of the season.
Even with ace starter and potential Cy Young candidate Jose Fernandez undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Marlins have stayed afloat in the weak National League East, and their 35-33 record leaves them just 1/2 game behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. Much of that success has come at the hands of Giancarlo Stanton. The NL MVP candidate has been superb this season, batting .301 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs through 68 games this year. The 24-year-old went 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts in the Marlins' road series against the Cubs earlier this month, so he'll be looking for some redemption.
"It's going to be an awful fun series. Why? Because the Marlins have snuck up on the radar," Hollandsworth told CSN's Kelly Crull. "With everything going on in the National League East right now, they're a team that's not only in position to be in the Wild Card conversation, they're battling for the division."
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After three in South Beach the Cubs will head back to Wrigley Field to face the Pirates, who earlier this month took three of four from the Cubbies in Pittsburgh. But the North Siders have been playing better at Clark and Addison of late, winning eight of their last 11 dating back to mid-May.
"It is your home turf, it is where you live, it's where your family is, a lot of positives there that aren't on the road," Hollandsworth said when asked why the Cubs have fared so well at home (15-14). "At the same time, your fan base in Wrigley are faithful, they're there and packing it in (the stands) still. It happens around baseball. The next step is figuring out how to win on the road more consistently."
CSN will air Cubs games on Monday (6:10 p.m.) and Wednesday (11:40 a.m.) this week.
See what else Hollandsworth had to say in the video above.