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Cubs vs. Reds Preview, Tuesday 8/26, 6:10 CT

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Hey, the Cubs have a chance to finish higher than fifth this year... but they'll have to pass the Reds to do it. Here's an opportunity to move up.

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Jonathan Daniel

On August 7, the Reds were three games over .500 and three games behind the second wild card spot in the National League.

Since that date the Cubs are 9-8 and the Reds are 4-12. Now that's what I call a turnaround. The Reds are still only 5½ games behind the second wild card, but with four other teams ahead of them.

So, despite the fact that the Cubs have played poorly in Cincinnati for many years (and the Reds have seemed to have their number at Wrigley Field, too), perhaps now is the time for the Cubs to start things going the other direction.

We'll have to wait one more day for the big-league debut of Jorge Soler, who won't arrive until tomorrow.

Finally, here's your once-a-series reminder to check out (if you haven't already) SB Nation's partner fantasy site, Fan Duel, where you can win real money. Here's the link.

On to today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Sweeney RF, Alcantara CF, Castillo C, Wood P

Reds lineup:

Hamilton CF, Frazier 1B, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Ludwick LF, Negron 3B, Pena C, Cozart SS, Cueto P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Johnny Cueto

Johnny Cueto


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs

There is still time for Travis Wood to turn his season around and finish strong, but with (probably) six more starts including this one, he'd better start now. He has faced the Reds once this year, the first game of the July 8 doubleheader in Cincinnati, and his outing that day was, sadly, typical of his season. Jay Bruce homered off him. He'll need to do better than that with tonight's start.

That July 8 DH first game was also a Johnny Cueto start against the Cubs. The only runs he allowed were solo homers by Chris Coghlan and Ryan Sweeney. Homers against Cueto are good! It would have been nice to have runners on base, though. Cueto's been pretty consistent this year, though his 3.00 ERA in August is a run higher than his previous months' total.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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.