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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Monday 7/20, 6:10 CT

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The Cubs head into Cincinnati for a series against their divisional rivals.

Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Cubs were 28-60 against the Reds from 2010 through 2014, and were essentially equally bad at home (14-31) and at Cincinnati (14-29).

That coincides with a down period in Cubs history and a decent run for the Reds where they made the playoffs three times.

Things seem to be turning around quickly. The Cubs seem on the cusp of one of those playoff runs, and the Reds are in decline and might be selling off parts soon. The Cubs are 7-2 against the Reds this year, 5-2 at Wrigley and 2-0 in a rain-shortened April series.

Keep up the good work, guys. There's more in the series preview, if you have not yet read it.

And one more thing: Aroldis Chapman likely won't be available for the Reds tonight because Bryan Price -- who I am surprised still has a job -- left him in for 44 pitches in Sunday's game, more pitches than he has ever thrown in a big-league game (previous high: 36).

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Schwarber C, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Richard P, Russell 2B

Reds lineup:

Phillips 2B, Votto 1B, Frazier 3B, Bruce RF, Byrd LF, Suarez SS, Barnhart C, Lorenzen P, Hamilton CF

Today's Starting Pitchers

Clayton Richard

Clayton Richard


Cubs

vs. Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs

Clayton Richard hasn't faced the Reds since 2012, so that isn't really relevant. Current Reds are 19-for-55 (.345) against him with two home runs (Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips), so maybe that is relevant. Richard made one decent start (against the Marlins), then had a mediocre relief appearance against the Cardinals. He hasn't pitched in 12 days. The Reds are 9-13 against lefthanded starters this year. What does this all mean? Your guess is as good as mine.

Michael Lorenzen started against the Cubs June 11 at Wrigley Field, where they hit him pretty hard, including home runs by Dexter Fowler and Miguel Montero. Since that game he's made five starts and posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.535 WHIP, and his biggest problem appears to be control: 47 walks in 71⅓ innings this year. If the Cubs can wait him out, they can probably beat him tonight.

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. If you do go there to interact with Reds fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.