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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Tuesday 7/28, 5:40 CT

The Cubs are going for their third straight win.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this afternoon, the seasons of two clubs — the Marlins and Phillieswere “paused” due to the outbreak of COVID-19 among Marlins players and staff.

This does not bode well for finishing the 2020 season, or even getting it to this weekend. Nevertheless, here we are, and the Cubs and Reds will play again tonight in Cincinnati. At least there will be nice weather for the contest.

One more weird fact from Monday’s game:

We don’t have lineups yet. Here’s the apparent reason:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Mills is a real success story. He was a 22nd-round pick of the Royals in 2012. Guys chosen that low usually don’t make it. (Interestingly, another player picked in that round was Tejay Antone, who threw in relief for the Reds Monday.)

The Cubs acquired him for Donnie Dewees, then got Dewees back. Win-win!

Mills has had some success in the big leagues in a small sample size. This is his first real shot at making a MLB rotation, at age 28. He’s kind of a poor man’s Kyle Hendricks, with a fastball that barely touches 90, per Fangraphs.

Mills made one start and two relief appearances against the Reds in 2019 and allowed four runs in 12 innings (3.00 ERA) with four walks and 12 strikeouts. Sounds good enough for a No. 5 starter to me.

Tyler Mahle has two full years in the Reds rotation with an ERA hovering about 5. That should be easy pickings for Cubs hitters, and indeed, they mashed him for a 5.23 ERA (seven earned runs in 11 innings, including three home runs) last year.

However, in three starts he made against the Cubs in 2018, he posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.018 WHIP.

So, your guess is as good as mine. Current Cubs are hitting .173 (20-for-91) against Mahle with four home runs. Javier Baez is 4-for-10 with a homer. So is Kyle Schwarber.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.