In an article linked in MLB Bullets this morning, Jeff Sullivan wrote that the Reds should trade pretty much everyone they can, and he has a point. The Reds aren't going anywhere this year, and the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs look like they could stay atop this division for several years to come. So why not retool?
That's the way the Reds enter this series, a team about ready to look very, very different. Who knows? Maybe they'll trade Aroldis Chapman before the Cubs series even ends. In the meantime, the Reds are coming off a weekend set in which they lost two of three to their cross-state rivals, the Indians, and Johnny Cueto, another trade possibility, had to be taken out of Sunday's game after throwing 94 pitches and issuing six walks in just four innings.
What a mess. Let's hope the Cubs can take advantage of said mess.
Wednesday's doubleheader is the result of this rainout April 25, where the Reds waited around for four hours before they called the game, primarily because they had a sellout crowd for the reunion of their 1990 World Series team.
Monday: Clayton Richard (1-0, 5.79 ERA, 2.036 WHIP, 3.27 FIP) vs. Michael Lorenzen (3-4, 3.53 ERA, 1.472 WHIP, 5.69 FIP)
Tuesday: Jason Hammel (5-4, 2.86 ERA, 0.945 WHIP, 3.05 FIP) vs. Raisel Iglesias (1-2, 5.90 ERA, 1.517 WHIP, 3.23 FIP)
Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.44 ERA, 1.108 WHIP, 3.23 FIP) vs. Mike Leake (7-5, 3.95 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 4.09 FIP) (one of the games, not yet clear which one; as of the time of this preview the other game was TBD vs. TBD)
After several years' worth of losing over and over to the Reds, the Cubs have dominated them this year, going 7-2, and both losses were by one run (and one of those was in extra innings). The Cubs won't have to face Johnny Cueto in this series, as he pitched on Sunday. The Reds have lost eight of their last 12 and are at their low-water mark of the season, nine games under .500. I don't see any reason why the Cubs shouldn't win three of four in this set.
The Phillies bring their worst-in-baseball record to Wrigley Field for a three-game series against the Cubs starting Friday afternoon.