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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Reds series preview

An important four-game series in Cincinnati.

Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The last time these two teams met at Great American Ball Park, Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer were in the Cubs starting lineup and Wil Myers was the Reds’ right fielder.

None of those guys are still on the teams in question, though Mancini was briefly in the Reds organization before they let him go this week.

Meanwhile, when the teams last faced each other, early this month at Wrigley Field, the Cubs won three of four and outscored the Reds 46-24. Fun times!

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

It’s official — the Cincinnati Reds are not dead yet, nor is their front office still asleep at the wheel!

The Reds suspiciously sat idle at the August 1 trade deadline despite, at the time, being the occupants of first place in the National League Central, and the baseball gods proceeded to punish them relentlessly because of it. They were destroyed by the Chicago Cubs — who added at the deadline — even before their spate of injuries crept up, and the end result was a month of August in which they went just 10-17 and were outscored by 31 runs.

They lost Jonathan India, Jake Fraley, Jonathan India, and Matt McLain to injuries, a devastating quad for this already inexperienced club. They added no pitching - the price was reportedly ‘too high’ at the deadline — only for Nick Lodolo to then be ruled out for the year and Hunter Greene to stumble through his first starts after returning. We blinked, they blinked, and they’re now six games back of the surging Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central race.


They managed to salvage a 5-5 road trip across the west over the last week and a half, and after the flurry of reasonably priced veteran players were placed on waivers by the big spending clubs who are waving white flags already, we finally saw proof of life from those who make the transactions around here. The Reds claimed both Harrison Bader (from the Yankees) and Hunter Renfroe (from the Angels), adding salary without sacrificing prospects a month after deciding against the other end of that equation. It tacks on a couple million bucks to their payroll, and it gives them not just a legitimate pair of big league veterans, but a boost to morale for a dugout that’d been reeling a lot of late.

Despite it all, the Reds sit just a game back of the final National League Wild Card spot, their fleet of rookies now bolstered. It sets the stage for what should be the best Reds/Cubs atmosphere in Great American Ball Park in September in quite some time, and hopefully the new Reds can assimilate quickly enough to make waves.

Fun fact

The first game of Friday’s doubleheader will be the 2,400th between the Cubs and Reds.

Their first also was at Cincinnati, on Saturday, April 19, 1890. The Reds made their National League debut that day, after having spent eight previous seasons in the American Association.

The Cubs won the game, 5-4. They have won 1,200 more against the Reds since then, while losing 1,176 — a difference of just 25 games, over 134 seasons. They have tied 22 times.

The 2,400 games are the third most the Cubs have played against any opponent. They have faced the Pirates 2,592 times and the Cardinals, 2,500.

The Phillies are fourth, at 2,386.

Through 2,399 games, the Cubs have outscored the Reds by only 419 runs — 0.16 per game.

(Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

Probable pitching matchups

Friday (Game 1): Jordan Wicks, LHP (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 0.600 WHIP, 2.87 FIP) vs. Graham Ashcraft, RHP (7-8, 4.73 ERA, 1.372 WHIP, 5.11 FIP)

Friday (Game 2): TBD vs. TBD

NOTE: It appears Shane Greene will be called up from Triple-A Iowa to start this game for the Cubs, but that has not been officially announced at the time this series preview posted.

Saturday: Javier Assad, RHP (3-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, 4.44 FIP) vs. Andrew Abbott, LHP (8-4, 3.35 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, 3.94 FIP)

Sunday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (7-9, 5.62 ERA, 1.356 WHIP, 4.68 FIP) vs. Brandon Williamson, LHP (4-4, 4.20 ERA, 1.236 WHIP, 4.51 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday (Game 1): 12:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Reds market territories)

Friday (Game 2): 5:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

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

Sunday: 11:10 a.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network


The pitching matchups appear slightly favorable to the Cubs and the Cubs are hot (9-3 over their last 12 games) while the Reds are not (5-7 over their last 12).

The Cubs will win three of four.

Up next

The Cubs return to Chicago to host the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series beginning Monday afternoon.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Reds?

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  • 12%
    (38 votes)
  • 47%
    (144 votes)
  • 35%
    (108 votes)
  • 2%
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now