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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

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One of the Cubs’ favorite opponents visits Wrigley Field.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cubs last played the Reds in early July, the visitors from Cincinnati took two out of three.

Since the end of that series the Cubs are 20-14 and the Reds 14-23. For more on what the Reds are like now, I asked Brandon Kraeling, manager of our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter, to give us an update.

The Reds that the Cubs will see this week are pretty similar to the Reds they saw the last time these teams met. Joey Votto is still Joey Votto, Zack Cozart is still raking, and Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall are still providing the slugging power offensively. A few new faces will be making their impact felt, though, as this will be the first time the Cubs have seen top outfield prospect Jesse Winker this year. Winker’s in for the injured Scott Schebler, and has been hitting near the top of the Reds’ lineup. Another hitter coming on strong lately has been Jose Peraza, who after some recent swing changes, is starting to pick up some hits. He’ll still be battling for playing time with Cozart and the resurgent Scooter Gennett, but Peraza will be filling in anywhere on the field and could see 2-3 starts in this series.

On the pitching end, the Reds’ revolving door rotation keeps on spinning. Asher Wojciechowski gets the ball on Tuesday. He has filled in admirably for a rotation that needs innings eaten. He started the year in Triple-A and has handled some long relief duties, but is in the rotation now. On Wednesday, the Cubs will see Luis Castillo for the first time, who is the brightest star in the Reds constellation of pitching prospects at the moment. Castillo has had success so far by keeping his walk rate down and throwing hard, and has been in the top five of average starting pitcher velocity since his callup. The rest of the week, the Reds have Homer Bailey and Scott Feldman going, both veterans who will look to be solid and eat innings.

Fun fact

Since the beginning of 2015, the Cubs are 34-13 against the Reds, including a 16-6 mark at Wrigley Field. They’re 6-3 against the Reds this year, and swept the first Wrigley series against them back in May.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Jose Quintana, LHP (6-10, 4.42 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 4.06 FIP) vs. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP (3-1, 4.23 ERA, 1.097 WHIP, 4.50 FIP)

Tuesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (4-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.246 WHIP, 4.21 FIP) vs. Luis Castillo, RHP (2-5, 3.73 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 4.51 FIP)

Wednesday: John Lackey, RHP (10-9, 4.82 ERA, 1.328 WHIP, 5.63 FIP) vs. Homer Bailey, RHP (4-6, 8.31 ERA, 2.035 WHIP, 5.85 FIP)

Thursday: Jon Lester, LHP (8-7, 3.99 ERA, 1.234 WHIP, 3.69 FIP) vs. Scott Feldman, RHP (7-7, 4.43 ERA, 1.337 WHIP, 4.50 FIP)

  • Jose Quintana’s numbers above include his 18 starts with the White Sox. With the Cubs: five starts, 2-2, 4.20 ERA, 1.033 WHIP, 4.27 FIP

Times & TV channels

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

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

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

Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Prediction

When the Reds come to town, Cubs bats seem to light up. Pitching matchups look mostly favorable, so I’ll call for the Cubs to win three of four.

Up next

The Cubs host the Toronto Blue Jays 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

  • 34%
    4
    (98 votes)
  • 49%
    3
    (141 votes)
  • 10%
    2
    (31 votes)
  • 2%
    1
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    0
    (8 votes)
286 votes total Vote Now