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.
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.
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
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.
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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How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?
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