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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Tuesday 9/8, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs welcome the Reds to Wrigley for a three-game set.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Today’s roster move: Here

The Cardinals lost the first game of their doubleheader to the Twins, so at this moment the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central is three games. If the Cubs can win tonight and the Twins complete a sweep, it would be a four-game lead for the Cubs.

Summer in Chicago has come to a screeching halt. It’s been raining and cool (temps in the 60s) most of the day Tuesday, and tonight’s forecast calls for a possibility of more rain. Thus here’s the Chicago-area radar to keep handy:

Tuesday notes:

  • GETTING THE BATS GOING: Cubs hitters yesterday collected 10 hits to snap a stretch of 13-straight home games with nine or fewer hits, the team’s longest such stretch since a 13-home game span in September 1960.
  • MORE BATS: Cubs outfielders lead the majors with a .914 OPS and .540 slugging mark while their .373 on-base percentage is second in baseball behind the Mets outfielders’ .396 OBP.
  • SO CLOSE: The Cubs are 11-15 in their last 26 games and have held a lead in nine of their 15 losses during this 26-game stretch. Further, six of the 15 losses have been by a single run while two have been by two runs apiece.
  • HAPP-ENSTANCE: Ian Happ leads the majors with a 1.079 OPS, ahead of Mike Trout (1.071), Fernando Tatis Jr. (1.068) and Nelson Cruz (1.059).
  • WHO NEEDS LEFTIES?: Cubs pitching has held left-handed batters to a .213 average (143-for-670) and a .290 OBP. That .290 OBP allowed vs. left-handed batters is second-best in the N.L. behind the Dodgers (.267).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jason Heyward update:

Reds lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP

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

Alec Mills has made several good starts this year... and some clunkers. He always seems just on the cusp of success, and then one or two bad things happen and the start falls apart.

He’s made two starts vs. the Reds already this year. The first one, July 28, was really good: six innings, two hits, two runs, the only real mistake a home run served up to Nick Castellanos. The second one, in the second game of a doubleheader August 29, was not good: three innings, four runs, home runs hit by Joey Votto and Curt Casali.

Mills has talent, no doubt, and throws strikes (2.6 walks per nine innings ratio). But he’s got to stay away from the long ball.

Tyler Mahle was Mills’ opponent in the July 28 game and he allowed six hits and two runs in four innings that night. Mahle made one other start vs. the Cubs this year, August 28, and threw six strong innings in which he struck out 11.

He’s had a pretty good year overall but his last four starts — which include that August 28 game — have produced a 4.95 ERA and nine walks and six home runs allowed in 20 innings. Perhaps the suddenly-rejuvenated Cubs offense can take advantage.

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

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week/Date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

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.