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Cubs vs. Rockies preview: Game times, TV schedule, live streaming info, matchups and more

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The Rockies travel to historic Wrigley Field to face the red-hot Cubs.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season began, the Cubs were one of the hottest picks to represent the National League in the Word Series and potentially win it all, finally breaking their century-old curse. Fresh off a break out 97-win season behind new manager Joe Maddon, the Cubs made some key improvements in the offseason to hopefully allow them to take the next step.

Currently holding the best record in baseball at 8-1, the Cubs are easily playing the best baseball in the Majors right now. In those nine games, the Cubs have scored 64 runs (most in the MLB) while allowing only 21 runs (second fewest). Combined they have a run differential of 43 already, which isn't just best in baseball, it's as good as the next two teams—the Cardinals and Dodgers—combined.

However, Wrigley Field could make this an interesting match-up as the Rockies' hitters ability to hit deep fly balls will challenge the Cubs pitching staff in an environment more conducive to home runs than either Coors Field or Chase Field, where the Rockies have played their first nine games.

Cubs Power Rankings

Extremely Good: Bullpen

This might surprise some people, but the Cubs' bullpen has been the best part of this team. As a group they have 9.27 K/9 and 0.81 BB/9 and have yet to allow a home run to an opponent. Those aren't just amazing numbers, those are just about perfect numbers from a pen. If the Cubs have a late lead right now, their pen is not going to make it easy to mount a comeback.

Very Good: Rotation

The Cubs rotation benefits from having two aces at the top of it, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, and unfortunately for the Rockies they get to face both of them this weekend. As a group, though, the rotation appears to have a tendency to allow a few more home runs than the Cubs will probably like, as they're allowing the league average in home runs despite playing the majority of their games so far away from home run friendly Coors Field.

Very Good: Lineup

You're probably wondering how the mighty Chicago Cubs' lineup can be ranked last here. First off, if you look at the rankings I actually have it tied with the rotation. Secondly that may tell you just how well rounded this team is. They're not depending on any one aspect of this team to carry them though each part of this team will probably do that for a while.

The Cubs lineup is packed full of young talented hitters surrounded by key free agents the Cubs have picked up. Overall there probably isn't a lineup that's deeper in the Majors and overall it really makes things tough on a pitcher to work his way through the lineup as making a mistake to just about any of them will result in serious trouble. Even the loss of Kyle Schwarber was countered by Jorge Soler, which is a pretty good contingency plan.

Who to watch: Hitter

Not expected to be in the Cubs lineup with the new acquisition of Jason Heyward and resigning of Dexter Fowler, Soler was reinserted following Schwarber's season ending knee injury. Soler was a popular player in media trade talks this offseason and also often discussed around these parts as a desired return in a possible Rockies-Cubs trade. Instead, the Cubs choose to hang onto him as depth, and right now that's a decision that looks golden.

While it may seems like all the Cubs prospects panned out last year, Soler did have some struggles and those have continued so far this season. The Cubs benefited last season from some injury luck and also the amazing streak of prospects panning out at the MLB level providing them with great depth. Now, Soler is the first test as to whether or not that will continue this season.

Who to watch: Pitcher

Jake Arrieta was a late blooming prospect, as he struggled for years breaking into the Majors with the Orioles before being sent to the Cubs in a trade. Since then, he's been one of the best pitchers in baseball, picking up a Cy Young Award last year before running out of steam in the playoffs.

The Cubs may watch his workload a little bit closer this year in an attempt to make sure he's still fresh come playoff time, and he may come back to earth a bit as well, but any time you get to watch one of the best pitchers in baseball, it's a treat.

Game times, TV, probable pitchers (all times MT)

Friday, April 15, 12:20 p.m.: Chad Bettis vs. Kyle Hendricks
TV: ROOT Sports; Streaming: MLB.TV; Radio: 850 KOA

Saturday, April 16, 12:20 p.m.: Christian Bergman vs. Jake Arrieta
TV: ROOT Sports; Streaming: MLB.TV; Radio: 850 KOA

Sunday, April 17, 12:20 p.m.: Tyler Chatwood vs. Jon Lester
TV: ROOT Sports; Streaming: MLB.TV; Radio: 850 KOA

For more information, check out the best source for Chicago Cubs news, Bleed Cubbie Blue.