Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68 ERA)
Lilly did not get a win in his last game, which was his 100th start for the Cubs, but he did notch another quality start. The lefty gave up three runs on six hits over seven innings against the Pirates. He’s now gone at least seven innings in back to back starts for the first time since last Sept. 18-30. He’s made 12 starts against the Rangers in his career and is 4-4 with a 3.63 ERA. The last time was June 21, 2007, when he did not get a decision in a 6-5 loss in Texas. In that game, Lilly gave up five runs on six hits, including two homers, over seven innings.
Lewis went 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA in his first four starts but is 0-2 with a 3.58 ERA in his past four starts. He lost, 5-2, against the Blue Jays on Sunday, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up three hits and walked four. He has walked 21 batters in 51 innings. He walked 19 in 176 innings in Japan last year. Opponents are hitting .132 off him with runners in scoring position. Lewis has never faced the Cubs.
Strength – Has a great pitchers’ frame and puts all of his 6-4, 230-pound body into his mid-90s fastball. Displays the occasional ability to dominate.
Weakness – Gets hit hard when incapable of throwing his secondary pitches for strikes. Struggles in the big leagues when his pitches start to elevate too much.
Heat Check – Lewis is cold (0-1, 5.68 in last 12.2IP)
Randy Wells (3-2, 4.13 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (2-0, 2.38 ERA)
Wells did not get a decision in his last start but should’ve gotten a “W.” He gave up one run on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings against the Rockies. It was his fifth quality start. He now has given up one or no runs in three of his eight games. He did throw 116 pitches, which was a career high. It’ll be interesting to see if that has an effect on him. Wells is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts against the NL West. This will be his first start against an AL West team.
Holland went 5 1/3 innings, giving up just three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 4-3 victory over the Angels on Monday. Since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, Holland has won both of his starts. He didn’t give up a run until the fifth inning against the Halos, running his season-opening scoreless innings streak to 10. He pitched six innings and struck out seven in his first start of the season, a 10-1 victory over Oakland. This will be his first career start against the Cubs.
Strength – Has the ability to both deceive and dominate batters with an outstanding pitching arsenal. Can strike out a ton of batters and be used as either a stater or reliever.
Weakness – Lacks refinement and polish with his pitches, and also needs to build up his stamina regardless of future role. Could also use more muscle on his 6-2 frame.
Heat Check – Holland is hot (2-0, 2.38 in last 11.1IP)
Carlos Silva (5-0, 3.35 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (3-1, 2.55 ERA)
Wilson pitched just 4 1/3 innings against the Angels on Tuesday, giving up seven runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. In his shortest outing of the season, Wilson saw his homerless innings streak stop at 87 2/3 as Torii Hunter’s two-run home run to left field was the first he had given up since July 9, 2009, to Franklin Gutierrez of Seattle. Despite that, the Rangers still won for the sixth straight game started by Wilson. This will be Wilson’s first career start against the Cubs. He’s 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and three strikeouts against Chicago.
Strength – Pitches aggressively with a low-90s fastball that has great movement. Also boasts a good curve and solid change-up. Constantly challenges hitters. Is capable of dominating left-handed batters. Can close, set up or start.
Weakness – Right-handed hitters have a little more success than lefty bats, so greater refinement in his pitches could help. Must improve his durability and stamina to thrive in the starting rotation.
Heat Check – Wilson is cold (0-0, 6.35 in last 11.1IP)