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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

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The Cubs haven’t played well vs. the Reds so far this year. Hopefully that changes this week.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cubs are 5-4 since they lost two of three to the Reds in Cincinnati in late June.

The Reds are 4-5 since they took two of three from the Cubs in Cincinnati in late June.

And yet, it seems the two clubs are going more in the opposite direction than just one game in the standings. The Reds stand six games under .500 and 6½ games out of first place, despite having a positive run differential (+33) and a Pythagorean record of 49-41. The seven-game difference is one of the largest I’ve seen at this point in the season.

Meanwhile, the Cubs have won five of their last six and have their biggest division lead (2x games) since May 25.

From 2015-18 the Cubs were 51-25 against the Reds, their best record against anyone in the N.L. Central. So far this year, just 3-6. But it seems as if now is the time when the Cubs finally reassert that recent dominance over the Reds.

Fun fact

The Reds lead the N.L. in fewest runs allowed (363) and are second in team ERA (3.85). The losing record is largely due to their good record in blowouts (14-9) while they are just 14-18 in one-run games.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Luis Castillo, RHP (8-3, 2.29 ERA, 1.085 WHIP, 3.66 FIP) vs. Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7-7, 3.49 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 3.50 FIP)

Tuesday: Anthony DeSclafani, RHP (5-4, 4.26 ERA, 1.350 WHIP, 4.64 FIP) vs. Alec Mills, RHP (making his 2019 MLB season debut)

Wednesday: Sonny Gray, RHP (5-5, 3.42 ERA, 1.182 WHIP, 3.24 FIP) vs. Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.72 ERA, 1.291 WHIP, 5.04 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 7:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m., WGN

Wednesday: 1:20 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago

Prediction

The Reds are better vs. LH starters (12-11) than RH starters (30-37). With the Cubs having a lot of lefties, this is the first time in 2019 that they’ve thrown all righthanders in a series against Cincinnati. Castillo will be tough to beat, but I’ll say the Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then host the Padres for a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Friday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    3
    (78 votes)
  • 48%
    2
    (129 votes)
  • 17%
    1
    (46 votes)
  • 5%
    0
    (15 votes)
268 votes total Vote Now