One of the things that will tell us a lot about this year's Cubs is how they play against the Reds.
Since the Ricketts family bought the team -- that is, since the 2010 season -- the Cubs are 30-61 against the Reds. And that includes winning two of three at Wrigley Field last week. That is by far their worst winning percentage in that span against any N.L. team. It breaks down to 16-32 at Wrigley, 14-29 at Cincinnati. The Cubs have won only one series in Cincinnati since 2010, taking two of three from the Reds in September 2013.
It's well past time to change that and this would be a great weekend to start.
The Cubs will be wearing 1990 throwback road uniforms tonight, as the Reds celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1990 World Series title:
Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Ross C, Lester P, Russell 2B
Hamilton CF, Votto 1B, Frazier 3B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Byrd LF, Pena C, Cozart SS, Leake P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Interestingly enough, the pitching matchups for this series are identical to the three-game set these two teams played in Chicago starting 10 days ago. Here's the boxscore from April 13, the first Lester/Leake matchup.
Jon Lester gave up three runs in the first inning, then settled down until he gave up three more in the sixth. He didn't give up any home runs or walks, but allowed 10 hits, including three by Brandon Phillips. He'll have to do better than that to win. He has never pitched at GABP before.
The Cubs hit a pair of home runs off Mike Leake in this game, one by Jorge Soler, one by Chris Coghlan (Soler later homered a second time in that game, off Jumbo Diaz). Leake gave up seven hits and four runs in seven innings. Of course, he hasn't faced Kris Bryant or Addison Russell yet. Maybe this will be the game where one or both of those guys homers for the first time in the big leagues.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
Once again for 2015, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as the last couple of years. 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 most 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.