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

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The Cubs look to even up their series with the Reds.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Saturday notes:

  • The Cubs go for their 50th win today. Here are the previous six times the Cubs have reached 50 wins prior to the All-Star Break: 61 in 1969, 57 in 2008, 54 in 1977, 53 in 2016, 52 in 1973 and 51 in 2001.
  • The nine straight games the Cubs played in Cincinnati before the Reds played a game at Wrigley this year ties the franchise record for such things. It also happened in 1903 when the Cubs played nine games in St. Louis before the teams played in Chicago for the first time on May 30, and in 1925 when the Cubs played nine games in Cincinnati before first playing in Chicago on June 22. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • The Cubs enter today’s game leading the National League in runs, runs per game, batting average, OBP, OPS, and rank third in ERA and second in ERA+.
  • Despite the 3-7 mark against the Reds so far this year, since the beginning of 2015 the Cubs are 43-24 against them.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Matt Harvey, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Oh boy, Tyler Chatwood and his walks again. I guess it counts as “good news” that he managed to walk “only” three in his last start and his walk rate over his last three starts is “only” 6.1.

But he’s still leading the major leagues in walks, and it’s got to get better, or the Cubs will have to figure out what to do with him soon.

His only start against the Reds this year came April 2 in Cincinnati, and we got an idea of what was going to happen when he walked six in six innings. Somehow he got out of that allowing only one run. Don’t press your luck, Tyler.

Matt Harvey limited the Cubs to two runs in six innings June 21 in Cincinnati. Since then he’s made a pair of starts in which he’s allowed one total run in 12⅓ innings. Could it be he’s finally gotten back to near the performance level he had in 2015 and before?

Too early to tell, but he’s been pretty good in seven starts with the Reds, including just two walks issued in his last 18⅓ innings.

The Cubs should not take this one lightly.

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

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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.