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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

The Cubs head to the road to face a division rival.

Joey Votto signs autographs at Spring Training
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Reds won two of three over the weekend against the Pirates, starting their year on a winning note.

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

If the Cincinnati Reds are truly going to surprise anyone in 2023, it’ll be on the backs of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft. That talented young trio of arms truly has the makings of the start of a special rotation, one that was on display in the Reds series victory against Pittsburgh to start the season.

Of course, the Chicago Cubs are set to miss two-thirds of that group when they get to town today, and the precipitous fall in the rotation after that trio is pretty mighty. In Connor Overton and reliever-turned-starter Luis Cessa, the Reds seem to have merely settled for slapping a band-aid on a major hole on the roster, and I think the expectations there are for anything other than complete disaster.

That’s what Chicago will have on their plate in this first series of the season between the two clubs, though the Reds offense — as is pretty typical in GABP — has looked like it might have cobbled together enough half-pieces to mix and match its way to some decent success. That’ll be on display immediately as they send a righty-heavy group out to face lefty Drew Smyly and will later back it up with an entirely different platoon. Especially while Joey Votto is sidelined, that’ll be the norm.

It’s a young club, and one with numerous holes on the roster, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t at least a couple players around who look both exciting now and fit the part for the future. How quickly they can put it together together remains to be seen and is obviously the biggest question facing Cincinnati this year.

Fun fact

The Cubs were 11-8 against the Reds last year and since 2015, they are 84-59 against Cincinnati.

Fun Reds fact:

The six players are: Jason Vosler, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl and Kevin Newman.

The Cubs have three home runs so far: Two by Patrick Wisdom, one by Ian Happ.

Probable pitching matchups (2022 numbers except for Wednesday)

Monday: Drew Smyly, LHP (7-8, 3.47 ERA, 1.194 WHIP, 4.23 FIP) vs. Connor Overton, RHP (1-0, 2.73 ERA, 0.970 WHIP, 3.66 FIP)

Tuesday: Hayden Wesneski, RHP (3-2, 2.18 ERA, 0.939 WHIP, 3.20 FIP) vs. Luis Cessa, RHP (4-4, 4.57 ERA, 1.289 WHIP, 5.02 FIP)

Wednesday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.05 FIP) vs. Hunter Greene, RHP (0-0, 8.10 ERA, 2.400 WHIP, 5.02 FIP)

Times & TV channels

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

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

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


The Cubs have done well recently in GABP and it’s a place Ian Happ in particular hits well (.313/.411/.729 with 16 home runs in 144 at-bats). The Cubs will right the ship by taking two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then return to Wrigley Field to take on the Texas Rangers in a three-game series which begins Friday afternoon.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

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  • 17%
    (31 votes)
  • 55%
    (99 votes)
  • 20%
    (37 votes)
  • 5%
    (10 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now