Since the Cubs just played the Reds, we're pretty familiar with them, and hoping for a repeat of last week's sweep. And that sweep included outscoring them 27-14, so their pitching staff might be just what the baseball doctor ordered, especially after the Reds lost three of four to the Nationals in Washington and got outscored 32-16.
The Reds have allowed 498 runs in 83 games this year, exactly six runs per game. That would equate to 972 runs in a 162-game season. The last National League team to allow that many runs was the 1999 Rockies (1,028). Before that you have to go back to the 1930s to find pitching staffs that bad.
In addition to the most runs allowed in the major leagues (by 61), Reds pitchers are also MLB-worst in home runs allowed (by a lot: their 144 HR given up is 29 more than anyone else), walks and hit batters.
Hope the Cubs have their bats ready.
The Reds have already used 27 different pitchers this year and 12 different starters, both by far the most of any team.
Monday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (6-6, 2.76 ERA, 1.051 WHIP, 3.47 FIP) vs. Cody Reed, LHP (0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.813 WHIP, 6.48 FIP)
Tuesday: John Lackey, RHP (7-4, 3.27 ERA, 1.014 WHIP, 3.49 FIP) vs. Brandon Finnegan, LHP (3-7, 4.48 ERA, 1.391 WHIP, 5.27 FIP)
Wednesday: Adam Warren, RHP (3-1, 4.56 ERA, 1.403 WHIP, 5.42 FIP) vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP (2-0, 1.78 ERA, 1.286 WHP, 3.89 FIP)
Times & TV channels
Monday: 1:20 p.m. CT, WGN
Tuesday: 1:20 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago
Wednesday: 1:20 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago
Oh, what the heck. The Reds are allowing runs in bunches. It's supposed to be warm and humid at Wrigley this week, good conditions for hitters. Since May 15 the Reds have the worst record in the major leagues (15-31) and have lost 10 of their last 12. The Cubs really should repeat last week's sweep of the Reds.