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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Monday 7/31, 7:05 CT

The Cubs open a big four-game series against the visitors from Cincinnati.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Monday notes...

  • WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY? A LOT!: On June 8, the Cubs lost to the Angels at Anaheim, 3-1, and fell to a season-low 10 games under .500, at 26-36. The same day, the Reds lost at home to the Dodgers, 6-0, leaving them at 29-34. Since then, the Reds and Cubs have had the second- and third-best records in all of baseball. The Reds have gone 29-15, a .659 winning percentage; the Cubs, 27-16, .628. Only the Braves have been better: 29-12, .707. The Cubs’ percentage since June 9 is 86 points higher than it was on June 8. The Reds’ is 82 points higher. Those are the two biggest increases, followed by the Athletics (61), Phillies (49) and Red Sox (41). (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • MORE ON THE CUBS STREAKING: The .628 winning percentage the Cubs have been on since June 8 would give them a 36-21 record the rest of the way, if they can maintain that pace, and 89 wins for the season.
  • RUN DIFFERENTIAL UPDATE: The Cubs’ +57 run differential leads the N.L. Central. Only one other Central Division team has a positive run differential, the Reds, and they just got there Sunday, now at +3. The Cubs’ +57 is fourth-best in the National League behind the Braves (+151), Dodgers (+88) and Padres (+63).
  • HE’S HOT: Javier Assad, last nine games since June 16: 0.87 ERA, 0.871 WHIP, .159 opponents BA, .454 opponents OPS, 20 strikeouts in 20⅔ innings. Assad turned 26 yesterday.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Andrew Abbott, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it’s time for Marcus Stroman to end his bad stretch and throw another good game. He’s got an 8.00 ERA and 1.852 WHIP over his last six starts, a stretch that began with his blister game in London.

His last start against the Reds was October 2, 2022 at Wrigley Field. He threw six shutout innings. We’d take that. Of course, there are several new guys on the Reds since then, so let’s hope the Cubs have a good scouting report.

Andrew Abbott was the Reds’ second-round pick in 2021 out of the University of Virginia. (Comparison point: The Cubs took James Triantos in that round.)

Abbott has made 10 MLB starts, all this year, and has been very good in almost all of them. He’s posted a 1.90 ERA and 0.957 WHIP and has good walk and strikeout ratios.

He has obviously never faced the Cubs. However, a couple of current Cubs faced him April 26 in a Triple-A game between Iowa and Louisville — Christopher Morel and Mike Tauchman. Morel homered off Abbott.

That’s all I’ve got. Hopefully the Cubs bats wake up from their Sunday slumber.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.