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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

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The Reds visit Wrigley Field for the first time in 2018.

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Since the disastrous sweep at the hands of the Reds in Cincinnati last month, the Cubs have gone on to split four games in Los Angeles and then win five at home, so overall they’ve gone 7-2 following that Reds series.

The Reds are 6-4 since then. They took two of three in Atlanta (pretty good work there), lost two of three to the Brewers and took two of three from the White Sox, though their pitching staff gave the Sox 20 runs in the series — to a team that ranks 24th in MLB in run-scoring. The Cubs have outscored the White Sox this year by 85 runs. The Reds pitching staff ranks 26th in runs allowed, and the Cubs bats are hot.

This oughta be fun.

Fun fact

Flashback to current Reds manager Jim Riggleman’s first Cubs team in 1995: Among the players he managed that year were Mike Morgan, Howard Johnson and Steve Buechele. Buechele, incidentally, is now the bench coach for the Texas Rangers, and Johnson is a hitting coach in the Rangers system for Triple-A Round Rock.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Mike Montgomery, LHP (3-2, 3.55 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 4.02 FIP) vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP (6-6, 3.83 ERA, 1.418 WHIP, 4.69 FIP)

Saturday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3-5, 4.54 ERA, 1.745 WHIP, 4.95 FIP) vs. Matt Harvey, RHP (4-5, 4.91 ERA, 1.252 WHIP, 4.68 FIP overall. In 10 starts with Reds: 4-3, 3. 86 ERA, 1.099 WHIP, 4.21 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (11-2, 2.25 ERA, 1.150 WHIP, 4.16 FIP) vs. Luis Castillo, RHP (5-8, 5.53 ERA, 1.378 WHIP, 4.77 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Cincinnati markets)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Cincinnati markets)

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, WGN

Prediction

The Cubs have played poorly against the Reds this year, but the Reds have been bad on the road (17-23) and the Cubs’ 26-14 home record is now second-best in the National League (to the Phillies at 30-16). The Cubs have won six in a row overall and seven straight at Wrigley Field.

Just to hedge a bit, I’ll say the Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs head to the West Coast. Monday evening, they’ll begin a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco.


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Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    3
    (94 votes)
  • 48%
    2
    (139 votes)
  • 9%
    1
    (28 votes)
  • 8%
    0
    (24 votes)
285 votes total Vote Now