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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds Series Preview

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Maybe having the Reds at Wrigley will wake up Cubs bats.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds are 19-18, one game ahead of the Cubs in the N.L. Central.

Those are words you likely did not expect to read at this stage of the season.

I’m here to tell you that record is likely a mirage, despite the fact that it’s actually one game worse than the Reds’ Pythagorean numbers would indicate.

The Reds have fattened up on teams that don’t appear to be very good this year. They are 6-1 against the Pirates and 4-3 against the Giants. That makes them 9-14 against everyone else, including losing two of three to the Cubs in a series at Great American Ball Park last month.

Feel better now? Hopefully you’ll feel a lot better late Thursday afternoon.

Fun fact

Fact, but maybe not so fun: The last time the Reds were ahead of the Cubs in the standings this late in the season was September 28, 2014, the last day of that season, when the Reds finished fourth and the Cubs finished fifth. The Reds finished just three games ahead of the Cubs that year, a sign that the Reds were declining and the Cubs were on their way up.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: John Lackey, RHP (3-3, 4.29 ERA, 1.310 WHIP, 4.14 FIP) vs. Bronson Arroyo, RHP (3-2, 5.94 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, 5.75 FIP)

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (2-2, 3.40 ERA, 1.210 WHIP, 4.21 FIP) vs. Scott Feldman, RHP (2-3, 3.59 ERA, 1.217 WHIP, 4.07 FIP)

Thursday: Jon Lester, LHP (1-2, 3.45 ERA, 1.404 WHIP, 3.64 FIP) vs. Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP (0-1, 4.85 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 5.69 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, WGN

Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Cincinnati markets)

Prediction

If the Cubs don’t win at least two of three from the Reds, I think this year’s team is in trouble. So... I’ll say they’ll win two of three (and hope for a sweep to put them back on track).

Up next

The Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Friday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    3
    (85 votes)
  • 43%
    2
    (106 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (34 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (17 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now