Chicago Cubs: Three key factors in series with Detroit Tigers

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, Nico Hoerner
Chicago Cubs (Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

3. Hitting with runners in scoring position will be key

It’s been an ongoing issue for the last several seasons, but the Cubs still struggle to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP). As a group, the northsiders posted historically bad offensive numbers in April, but they have turned the corner ever so slightly in May with a team .255/.334/.406 slash line. However, they are hitting just .215 with RISP.

Nico Hoerner has been the best of the bunch, hitting a marvelous .545 with RISP, followed by Jake Marisnick with a .333 average in such situations. But it appears the Cubs will be without the latter this weekend, as David Ross noted on Wednesday that Hoerner is expected to be activated off the injured list on Friday.

For the Tigers, hitting with RISP has been a strength, posting a .252 batting average, good for the ninth-best mark in the league. Robbie Grossman and Harold Castro are hitting at least .400 with RISP, and they have a couple of players right on their tails in Akil Baddoo (.385) and JaCoby Jones (.333).

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Looking back at the Indians series, the Chicago Cubs went a combined 2-for-27 with RISP. For them to come away with a series victory, they have to be a heckuva lot better than that.