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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Saturday 5/19 Game 1, 12:10 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row over the Reds.

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Sigh. Here we go again with a forecast of rain. So:


  • Addison Russell is 21-for-59 (.356) with 11 runs, eight RBI and a .426 OBP in his last 18 games since April 26. Friday night, Russell became just the fourth Cubs shortstop since 1997 to record at least four hits and a stolen base in a game. And it’s a fun list: Neifi Perez (9/10/04 vs. the Marlins), Ryan Theriot (3 times, last done 4/25/10 at Milwaukee) and Starlin Castro (4/23/11 vs. the Dodgers).
  • The Cubs have drawn 55 walks in their last 11 games, averaging five per game over that span. For the season they have 150 walks, an average of 3.66 per game.
  • Once again, since the Cubs haven’t homered in their last three games, they remain two short of 14,000 in franchise history. Maybe today! (H/T Ed Hartig)
  • Kris Bryant is quietly having another MVP-quality season. In his first 37 games this season, KB has a .425 on-base percentage and a .592 slugging percentage, good for a 1.017 OPS. Those numbers are ahead of his first 37 games of 2017 (.403 OBP, .554 SLG, .957 OPS) and well ahead of the numbers he posted in the first 37 games of his N.L. MVP 2016 season (.359 OBP, .483 SLG, .842 OPS).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks, last four starts: 2.51 ERA, 0.767 WHIP, just two walks in 28⅔ innings. He faced the Reds twice last year and allowed two earned runs in 12 innings.

One thing Kyle has not done well so far this year is keep the ball in the yard. He’s allowed nine home runs already, more than half as many as he gave up all of 2017 (17). His numbers in general are good and his walk rate so far (1.6) is the best of his career.

The current Reds player who’s hit him best is Joey Votto: 7-for-14 (.500) with two home runs. Keep Votto in the yard and the Cubs likely win this game.

Luis Castillo is a hard-throwing righthander who did well in 15 starts in 2017. This year? Not so much, with a 6.02 ERA, though he’s been better this month: 3.06 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, two walks and 22 strikeouts in 17⅔ innings. He has allowed four home runs in those innings, so perhaps the Cubs can end their three-game homerless streak and take him deep.

Castillo threw six shutout innings against the Cubs August 15, 2017 at Wrigley Field. He allowed just two hits, singles by Albert Almora Jr. and Anthony Rizzo. So this one won’t be easy.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.