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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Saturday 9/15, 3:05 CT

The Cubs go for their third straight win.

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Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Saturday notes:

  • Cubs starters have a 2.70 ERA (46 earned runs in 153⅓ innings) over their last 27 games. That’s the best starter ERA in the National League over that span.
  • Friday night, Cole Hamels became the fifth Cub to remain unbeaten in his first nine starts as a Cub, and the first since Carlos Silva was 8-0 in his first 11 starts in 2010. Mordecai Brown was 11-0 in his first 11 starts as a Cub in 1908 and Taylor Phillips was 4-0 in his first 11 starts in 1958.
  • Thursday’s makeup game in Washington sandwiched between home games marks just the third time in the Wrigley Field era that the Cubs will have played three consecutive days with a road game between two home contests, and the longest trip to play such a game. Prior to this week, it happened July 7-9, 2013 (vs. Pirates, @ White Sox, vs. Angels) and September 4-6, 1985 (vs. Astros, @ Cardinals, vs. Reds). (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • The Cubs are nearing the end of 30 consecutive days without an off day (29 games played). They’re 15-9 with five games remaining in this stretch, before the next off day Thursday, September 20.
  • The Cubs are now 1-1 in Friday night regular-season home games, winning yesterday and losing on Friday, September 8, 2017 to the Brewers. They have also played three games on Friday night in the postseason and gone 2-1. Those are: a win over the Braves in Game 3 of the 2003 division series, a win over the Giants in Game 1 of the 2016 division series and a loss to the Indians in Game 3 of the 2016 World Series. If the Cubs win the N.L. Central this year and have the best record in the league, they will host a home game on Friday, October 5, likely at night.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Cody Reed, LHP

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

Jon Lester left his last start with a minor back tweak, but said at the time he’d be all right to make his next start, and here we are. Jon’s last five starts have been good: 2.15 ERA, 1.315 WHIP, just one HR in 29⅔ innings. He’s made two starts against the Reds this year and has allowed five runs in 12⅓ innings.

The two guys he has to shut down today are Jose Peraza (11-for-26, .423 against Jon) and Eugenio Suarez (10-for-31, .323, three home runs). The rest of the Reds are hitting just .224 against Jon with 24 strikeouts in 105 at-bats.

Cody Reed has 36 big-league appearances (15 starts) over the last three seasons and they have been mostly bad. He’s made two scoreless relief appearances against the Cubs this year, but in three previous starts against them he has posted a 16.20 (!) ERA, with seven home runs allowed in 10 innings. Those home runs are by: Anthony Rizzo (2), Willson Contreras (2), Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.

Overall current Cubs are hitting .380 (19-for-50) against Reed.

Hoping for more of this today.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

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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