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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

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The Reds are a much improved team in 2019.

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Reds were one of the Cubs’ favorite opponents from 2015-17. For those three seasons, the Cubs were 40-17 against them.

But the Reds have been tougher on the Cubs the last two years, and this season the Reds have won four of the six meetings between the two teams.

However, Cincinnati is currently on a four-game losing streak and this might be the Cubs’ best chance to win a series at Great American Ballpark. The Reds are getting one key player back for this series:

Scooter Gennett had two outstanding years for the Reds in 2017 and 2018 and has missed half the 2019 season with a severe groin strain suffered at the end of spring training. This will make an offense that’s had trouble scoring runs (336, ranking 13th in the National League) better.

Fun fact

The Reds are six games under .500 with a run differential of +40, the only team with a losing record this year and a positive run differential. That makes them eight games worse than their Pythagorean W/L projection, the largest difference in MLB in 2019.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Cole Hamels, LHP (6-2, 2.92 ERA, 1.186 WHIP, 3.55 FIP) vs. Sonny Gray, RHP (3-5, 4.03 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, 3.58 FIP)

Saturday: Jose Quintana, LHP (4-7, 4.50 ERA, 1.398 WHIP, 4.27 FIP) vs. Luis Castillo, RHP (7-2, 2.56 ERA, 1.172 WHIP, 3.71 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (7-5, 3.83 ERA, 1.312 WHIP, 4.21 FIP vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP (4-4, 4.70 ERA, 1.366 WHIP, 4.74 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 6:10 p.m. CT, WGN, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Reds market territories)

Saturday: 3:10 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Sunday: 12:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Reds market territories)

Prediction

The Cubs lost two of three in their previous trip to Cincinnati this year. Since that series the Cubs are 25-16 and the Reds are 20-24. As noted above, the Reds are riding a four-game losing streak. The Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh for a four-game series against the Pirates beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    3
    (33 votes)
  • 56%
    2
    (104 votes)
  • 17%
    1
    (32 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (14 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now