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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Friday 8/24, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for their third straight win.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Rain is in the forecast today, but I do think they’ll get this game in. Just for your reference, here’s the local radar:

It’s truly remarkable how Theo & Co. have remade the 2018 Cubs on the fly — and have them still with the best record in the National League.

On the active roster as of this morning are eight players who were not on this year’s Opening Day roster. That’s a number you might expect to see from a rebuilding team, not a first-place ballclub. Of those eight, five (Jesse Chavez, Cole Hamels, Brandon Kintzler, Jorge De La Rosa and Daniel Murphy) weren’t even in the organization as of the All-Star break.

Further, those five plus the players on the Iowa Shuttle have all been productive members of the team.

Kudos to the scouting staff and the front office for making the moves they needed to due to various injuries.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Matt Harvey, RHP

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

Alec Mills threw two scoreless innings in a 5-2 loss to the Cardinals July 27, his only big-league appearance this year and his only one in a Cubs uniform, period. He made three relief appearances for the Royals in 2016, so this will be his first major-league start.

His overall numbers at Triple-A Iowa aren’t great: 5-12, 4.84 ERA, 1.299 WHIP in 23 starts. He did throw six perfect innings August 1 vs. Salt Lake, but two starts later he got pounded by New Orleans for seven runs in 4⅓ innings.

He’s never faced the Reds or anyone on their current roster, so there’s that, anyway. But in general, how I feel about this start is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Matt Harvey has thrown pretty well for the Reds overall since he was acquired from the Mets. He’s not at his 2015 level, but he did take a no-hitter into the middle innings in his last outing against the Giants.

He’s faced the Cubs twice this year and has a 3.09 ERA and 1.371 WHIP with 10 strikeouts in 11⅔ innings, perfectly acceptable numbers. He’s building up a decent resume to head to free agency with this fall.

Current Cubs are hitting .329 (28-for-85) against him. New Cub Daniel Murphy has homered off him twice in 10 career at-bats.

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