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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

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This series isn’t likely to be any better than the last one against Cincinnati, but here we are.

Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images

The Cubs are 4-9 against the Reds this year — and that was all before the selloff. Thus that record is not likely to get any better this week. For more on the Reds, here’s Wick Terrell, manager of our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter:

The Cincinnati Reds are still in this, y’all!

Pardon the excitement, but it’s been an exhausting series of years since that’s been something I’ve been able to type with any veracity at this point of a full season. But after weathering a frustrating series in Atlanta and taking two of threee from the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park over the weekend, they’re nine games over the .500 mark and within earshot of the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

That run has come courtesy of their offense more of than not, as they entered play on Sunday with a team wOBA of .331, the best mark in the NL and third best in all MLB. Joey Votto and his homer binge have been the single biggest reason that mark has climbed as the season has progressed, his 15 homers in 24 games an absolute delight to behold after several ‘down’ years by his standards. He’s already crossed the 300 homer and 1,000 RBI thresholds so far this season, and sits just two hits shy of the 2,000 mark as the Cubs roll into GABP this week. So that, along with the scoreboard, will be on the minds of Reds fans when these two teams meet up.

Hopefully, the back issue that effectively sapped Jesse Winker for the road trip won’t continue to be an issue this week, though the good runs by rookies Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson have helped pick up that offensive slack in his absence.

Frankly, this is a series where the Reds will need to do their expected work and pick up more wins than losses if their climb into a playoff spot this year is going to be realized.

Fun fact

This isn’t really fun, but it is a fact. The Cubs have 22 one-run losses this year. Four of those are to the Reds, including an entire three-game series in early July.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday: Justin Steele, LHP (2-1, 2.95 ERA, 1.091 WHIP, 5.25 FIP) vs. Wade Miley, LHP (9-4, 3.00 ERA, 1.238 WHIP, 3.67 FIP)

Tuesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (13-5, 4.15 ERA, 1.341 WHIP, 4.73 FIP) vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP (8-3, 3.95 ERA, 1.331 WHIP, 5.20 FIP)

Wednesday: TBD vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP (10-3, 3.58 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 3.82 FIP)

“TBD” Wednesday is a mystery. It can’t be Keegan Thompson, as he started for Iowa Sunday. There are only two starters on the Cubs’ active roster other than the two above (Alec Mills and Zach Davies). So... your guess is as good as mine.

Times & TV channels

Monday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 11:35 a.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Reds market territories)

Prediction

The Cubs lost five of six in Cincinnati this year before the selloff. I cannot see that getting any better. The likely result of this series is the Cubs being swept.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then host the Kansas City Royals in a three-game series beginning Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    3
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    2
    (6 votes)
  • 28%
    1
    (42 votes)
  • 64%
    0
    (95 votes)
148 votes total Vote Now