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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Thursday 7/29, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs look to finish the homestand with a series split against the Reds.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday notes:

  • MILLSY!: Alec Mills has pitched much better at Wrigley Field this year (10 appearances, 3.00 ERA, 1.185 WHIP in 27 innings) than on the road (10 appearances, 5.93 ERA, 1.615 WHIP in 30⅓ innings). More on Mills below.
  • THE LITTLE THINGS: Since they hit their season low at four games under .500 May 2, the Cubs are 38-37. (Think positive, right?) The Cubs are also 47-36 against all teams except the Brewers and Reds, against whom they are a combined 7-17.
  • WHERE’S THE POWER?: After hitting 12 home runs in the first five games of the homestand, the Cubs went homerless Wednesday evening. They still rank fourth in the NL in home runs with 131, one ahead of the Reds.
  • THIS HAS TO GET BETTER: The Cubs currently rank 14th in the NL in BA (.227) and 13th in OBP (.308). All those home runs, though, get them an eighth-place ranking in SLG (.397).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Since Alec Mills re-joined the rotation June 15, he has a 3.48 ERA and 1.307 WHIP in seven starts covering 33⅔ innings, with only two home runs allowed.

That’s... actually pretty good. The only issue, of course, is that he’s still not been able to complete six innings in any of those outings. But things are heading in the right direction.

One of those seven starts was against the Reds July 2 in Cincinnati, where he allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings. Most times that could result in a win, but the Cubs weren’t hitting at the time. Overall, the Cubs won just two of those seven starts, which tells you about the state of the offense.

Statcast

At the end of May Luis Castillo had a 7.22 ERA and was having a miserable year. Since then: 10 starts, 1.71 ERA, 1.074 WHIP, just two HR allowed in 63⅓ innings. That’s really good. None of those 10 starts was against the Cubs, and against the Cubs this year: 4.35 ERA and 1.645 WHIP in two starts.

It should be noted that although Castillo’s WHIP in those last 10 starts is very good, that’s largely because he hasn’t allowed a lot of hits (only 40). He still issued a fair number of walks (28) in that span (3.98 per nine innings), so if the Cubs are patient hitters tonight perhaps they can score some runs.

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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 post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, 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 the overflow thread 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 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.