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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

The Reds had an historically bad start to this year, but have played better lately.

Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Cubs were supposed to open the 2022 season against the Reds. That series got moved to October due to the lockout, and so after 40 games have been played, the Cubs see the Reds for the first time this year starting tonight.

For an update on the Reds, here’s Wick Terrell, manager of our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.

The 2022 Cincinnati Reds are 12-28 and not going to make the playoffs. It’s the third week of May, and the cavalcade of awful that wrapped the post-lockout offseason and rolled into the first few weeks of the regular season has already long cemented that.

What could we really have expected? You forcefully remove Sonny Gray, Wade Miley, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart, et al from the roster and follow it up with weeks-long injuries/absences to Jonathan India, Luis Castillo, Mike Minor, Joey Votto, Lucas Sims, Nick Senzel, et al and it’s somewhat hard to figure out just how they actually did win three of their first 25-26 games, or whatever it was.

Still, this club isn’t nearly as awful as that record-breakingly bad start to the year. They’ve managed to get a few folks back, others have finally begun to round into form, and the transitional-year roster they laid out in earnest during their cost-cutting is settling in as what it was always supposed to be: a little ho-hum, and mostly just mediocre. Not record-breakingly bad, but mediocre.

That’s where they stand after a winning road trip through Cleveland and Toronto, after having won 9 of their last 15 to climb back onto the path to mere mediocrity. So, while the end of year goals are still woefully out of reach for this club, it doesn’t appear they’re ones to purely mail it in, and we’re going to get to see some decent ball played by them despite the inevitability. Tyler Stephenson and Hunter Greene have begun to show what’s long had them penciled-in as future stars, and even old-timers like Mike Moustakas and Joey Votto have swung the bats like they’ve got more left in the tank since returning, respectively.

It’s not a good Reds team, but they’re now good enough to once again have their moments, something that could not possibly be said during the first four weeks of this season. If you squint — and that’s all we’ve been able to do with the Reds for so long it hurts — there’s going to still be a bit of good baseball played by this group for the next four months. Hopefully, for our sake, that continues through this week’s series against the Cubs at GABP.

Fun fact

Since the Reds started the season 3-22, they are 9-6. That’s the third-best record in the National League in that time period. Only the Dodgers and Padres have been better.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Drew Smyly, LHP (1-5, 3.97 ERA, 1.382 WHIP, 4.48 FIP) vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP (0-5, 8.65 ERA, 1.962 WHIP, 7.52 FIP)

Tuesday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (1-4, 4.88 ERA, 1.149 WHIP, 4.06 FIP) vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP (2-4, 5.23 ERA, 1.349 WHIP, 3.35 FIP)

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (2-4, 4.89 ERA, 1.329 WHIP, 5.51 FIP) vs. Luis Castillo, RHP (0-2, 4.60 ERA, 1.149 WHIP, 3.99 FIP)

Thursday: Justin Steele, LHP (1-4, 3.82 ERA, 1.424 WHIP, 2.73 FIP) vs. Hunter Greene, RHP (1-6, 5.49 ERA, 1.475 WHIP, 6.28 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Reds market territories)

Wednesday: 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

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

Prediction

The Cubs have played .500 ball on the road this year (9-9). I don’t see any reason that can’t continue here, so I’ll call for a split of this four-game set.

Up next

The Cubs return to Chicago after this series, have Friday off, then play a pair on the South Side against the White Sox, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    4
    (9 votes)
  • 34%
    3
    (63 votes)
  • 40%
    2
    (75 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (27 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (9 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now