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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Friday 7/6, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for their seventh consecutive victory.

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Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Friday notes:

  • Each of the Cubs’ last seven wins since June 26 have been of the come-from-behind variety. The team’s 26 such victories this season are tied for the most in the majors with the Phillies. In those seven wins, the Cubs three times have overcome one-run deficits, once erased a two-run deficit and on three occasions have erased deficits of three runs,
  • Today is the sixth of a three-team, eight-game homestand against the Twins (3-0), Tigers (2-0) and Reds (three games beginning today). The Cubs are 26-14 (.650) at Wrigley Field thus far, with the 40 home games played tied for the fewest of any team in the majors (Rockies) and the .650 home winning percentage is third-best in the N.L.
  • Javier Baez has become the first Cubs middle infielder to reach 16 homers before the All-Star break since Ryne Sandberg, who had 24 homers at the break in 1990. Javy is the first player in franchise history with at least 20 doubles, five triples, 15 homers and 60 RBI prior to the All-Star break.
  • The Cubs were 16-15 with a +21 run differential through May 6. Since May 7, the Cubs have gone 33-20 with a +83 run differential, outscoring opponents 283-200 during that stretch.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP

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

Mike Montgomery has struggled a bit lately, but his numbers as a starter are still excellent: seven starts, 2.43 ERA, 1.057 WHIP. One of the things that’s made him successful as a starter this time around is a low walk rate: just 2.7 per nine innings. That was his biggest issue starting in previous years, and if he can keep it that low, he’ll continue to succeed. (Maybe he can give Tyler Chatwood some lessons.)

He started the final game of the four-game sweep the Reds laid on the Cubs in Cincinnati on June 24. The numbers aren’t great, six innings, four runs, but two of those runs scored after he left the game and he had allowed just three hits and one run until the seventh (he started that inning and departed before recording an out).

Tyler Mahle has made two starts against the Cubs this year. In the first one, April 2, he allowed just one hit over six shutout innings. In the second one, May 20, the Cubs pounded him pretty good, four runs in six innings, including three home runs (Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez, Ben Zobrist).

Since that start Mahle’s been pretty good: 2.84 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, though that WHIP reflects a pretty high walk rate (5.0 per nine). Perhaps the Cubs can take advantage of that. Mahle is coming off a start where he struck out 12 Brewers in 5⅔ innings, so the Cubs should also be aware of that.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Detroit markets).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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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.

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