Cubs vs. Reds Preview, Sunday 4/20, 1:20 CT

David Banks

The Cubs have not won a series against the Reds at Wrigley Field since 2011. Could it happen today?

The last time the Cubs won a series from the Reds in Wrigley Field, Carlos Pena and Jeff Baker hit cleanup, DJ LeMahieu had a 2-for-2 game and the winning pitchers (the Cubs won two of three) were Matt Garza and Kerry Wood.

Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? That was September 5-7, 2011, and the Cubs lost the middle game of that series in 13 innings after Bryan LaHair hit a two-out, game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.

Just four Cubs who played in that series are still on the team: Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell.

Could a series win happen today? Sure it could. Anything can happen, any day, in baseball.

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio CF, Sweeney LF, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Olt 3B, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Villanueva P

So, Anthony Rizzo is fine. And nice to see Mike Olt in the lineup against a tough RHP.

Reds lineup:

Hamilton CF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Ludwick LF, Mesoraco C, Cozart SS, Bailey P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva


Cubs

vs. Homer Bailey

Homer Bailey


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs

Carlos Villanueva had a horrific start in his last outing, against the Cardinals last Sunday. He posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.222 WHIP in five appearances (two starts) against the Reds last year. Current Reds are hitting .258 (32-for-124) against him with four home runs. It would be nice to see Carlos do well, as he's almost certainly headed back to the bullpen soon, when Jake Arrieta returns.

Homer Bailey is off to almost as bad a start this year as Villanueva; he has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his three starts, for an 8.16 ERA and 2.023 WHIP. The Pirates hit four home runs off him in his last outing. Last year he posted a 2.66 ERA and 1.131 WHIP in three starts against the Cubs. Did you know that Bailey's name isn't really "Homer"? It's "David Dewitt Bailey." Make of that what you will.

Today's game is on WCIU. WCIU games can also be seen on the following channels: Springfield/Decatur/Champaign, WCIX 49.2; Peoria, WAOE 59.1; Des Moines, WHO 13.2, Quad Cities (Davenport/Moline), WQAD 8.2 or 8.3; Ft. Wayne, WANE 15.2; South Bend, WMYS 69.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. The usual caution is advised.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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