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Cubs vs. Diamondbacks preview: Chicago heads to Arizona for season's penultimate series

The Cubs are looking to avoid their first 100-loss season in since 1966. At 59-97 with six games remaining, Chicago needs to pick up some wins in Arizona to do so.

David Banks - Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs enter the season's penultimate series on Friday needing some wins to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1966. Unfortunately for Chicago, it has a 17-game road losing streak at National League West opponents.

The Cubs haven't won on the road against an NL West team this season. Their last victory came 366 days ago against San Diego on Sept. 27, 2011. With a record of 59-97 and six games to play, it seems unlikely that Chicago will be able to avoid the 100-loss mark.

The Cubs send Travis Wood (6-12) to the mound in Game 1. Wood has struggled to pick up wins lately, compiling a 2-9 record since July 17. His pitching is getting better, though, as he has seen his ERA fall from 4.98 to 4.23 since July 27. Wood is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks.

For Arizona, Ian Kennedy (14-11) will take the hill in the series-opener. Kennedy has a 4.14 ERA and allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings in his only start this season against Chicago. Arizona enters the game with a 78-78 record and slim postseason hopes. The Diamondbacks will have to win their final six games to have any shot at the NL's final wild card spot.

Friday's first pitch is set for 8:40 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by CSN.