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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds Series Preview

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It's the final series of the regular season, before the real fun begins.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much new to tell you here; the Cubs just played the Reds at Wrigley last week and we'll see the same three starting pitchers for Cincinnati as they used in that series, in a slightly different order.

As I noted in the recap to Thursday night's game, there's a fair chance of rain in Cincinnati, not only tonight but through Saturday. Here's hoping they can get these games in, and not play to any more ties.

Fun fact

As I noted yesterday, the Cubs have not won 15 games from a single opponent in a single season since 1978, when they went 15-3 against the Cardinals. Thursday's tie game prevented a 15th win against the Pirates this year (they finished 14-4-1) but they still have a chance to win 15 against the Reds. They're 13-3 against Cincinnati going into this series.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Jake Buchanan, RHP (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 14.15 FIP) vs. Josh Smith, RHP (3-2, 4.77 ERA, 1.445 WHIP, 5.23 FIP)

Saturday: Jon Lester, LHP (19-4, 2.28 ERA, 0.997 WHIP, 3.35 FIP) vs. Tim Adleman, RHP (3-4, 3.90 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 5.50 FIP)

Sunday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (16-8, 1.99 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, 3.22 FIP) vs. Robert Stephenson, RHP (2-3, 6.27 ERA, 1.545 WHIP, 6.69 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 6:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Saturday: 3:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Sunday: 2:10 p.m. CT, WGN

Prediction

This series means nothing to either team; the Cubs clinched the division title two weeks ago and home field in the N.L. playoffs a few days later. The Reds will finish last in the N.L. Central. The Cubs will use this series mainly for tune-up starts for the postseason for Lester and Hendricks. They ought to win at least those two games; Friday's bullpen day for both teams is likely a toss-up.

Up next

The Cubs will take on either the Mets, Giants or Cardinals in a National League Division Series that begins next Friday, October 7, at Wrigley Field.