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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Saturday 6/23, 3:10 CT

The Cubs once again will look to defeat the Reds.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Today’s weather forecast for Cincinnati is more promising than the last couple of days, only about a 20-30 percent chance of storms.

However, the last time the Cubs were in a weather situation like this and I didn’t post the local radar here, there was a rain delay, as I recall. So, for little-stitious sake, here’s the Cincinnati-area radar again:

Hopefully, this will not be needed this afternoon.

Let’s talk about Kris Bryant for a moment.

KB homered in two straight games the last time the Cubs were in Cincinnati. Through the first game of the doubleheader May 19 he was hitting .311/.428/.595 (1.023 OPS) with eight home runs and 28 strikeouts through 148 at-bats, a strikeout rate of 18.9 percent.

Since then: .241/.321/.336 (.657 OPS) with one home run and 38 strikeouts in 116 at-bats, a K rate of 32.8 percent.

That last stretch isn’t a small sample size anymore, it’s almost as many at-bats as he had prior. Something’s off with KB and I’m not sure what it is, but his power has diminished and strikeouts have increased at an alarming rate. Further, he’s not drawing walks, either, as his OBP in the second stretch is down over 100 points.

Hopefully he comes out of this soon. No matter where he’s batting in the lineup, his offense is needed.

Site note: I am going to be out for a while early this evening, so today’s game recap will likely be delayed from the end of the game. It will post sometime this evening, though.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Luke Farrell, RHP vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP

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

Luke Farrell’s only big-league start was his major-league debut, July 1, 2017 with the Royals against the Twins. It did not go well.

In August 2017, Farrell was claimed on waivers by the Reds (after a brief stop in the Dodgers organization) and made 10 relief appearances for them, mostly good. And he’s been mostly good for the Cubs this year, too. He threw 76 pitches in a five-inning relief appearance in the 14-inning win over the Mets June 2, and so he’s the choice to start this game.

He’s obviously never faced the Reds or anyone on their current roster, so perhaps that’s an advantage for him. Theoretically, he should be able to go five innings, then the pen can take over, hopefully with the lead. His last outing was last Sunday against the Cardinals, so he should be well-rested, at least.

Anthony DeSclafani suffered an oblique injury in spring training and missed more than two months. This was after missing all of last year (except for three rehab starts) with elbow issues.

He’s made three starts this year and the results have been middling: 4.60 ERA, 1.468 WHIP. The last time he faced the Cubs was July 6, 2016 at Wrigley Field; he threw six credible innings that day.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Also, both of these guys should smile for their photos!

Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.

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.