The Cubs face off with the titans of the NL Central for the first time this year. The Reds have cooled off a bit, dropping three of four to the Brewers and two of three to the O's in the past week. At least they gave their fans two weeks or so of vague relevancy, unlike past rebuilding Cubs teams.
Team Leaders (projected)
- OBP: Anthony Rizzo (.382)
- SLG: Rizzo (.529)
- HR: Rizzo / Kris Bryant (33)
- R+RBI: Bryant (213)
- wOBA: Rizzo (.385)
- BSR: Javier Baez (1.3)
- SP K/9: Jake Arrieta (8.95)
- SP BB/9: Kyle Hendricks (2.03)
- SP FIP: Jon Lester (3.34)
- RP K/9: Wade Davis (12.51)
- RP BB/9: Hector Rondon (2.03)
- RP FIP: Davis (2.71)
- WAR: Bryant (5.8)
- OBP: Joey Votto (.421)
- SLG: Votto (.493)
- HR: Adam Duvall (28)
- R+RBI: Duvall (161)
- wOBA: Votto (.388)
- BSR: Billy Hamilton (7.0)
- SP K/9: Cody Reed (8.44)
- SP BB/9: Bronson Arroyo (2.30)
- SP FIP: Reed (4.56)
- RP K/9 Rasiel Iglesias (10.11)
- RP BB/9: Drew Storen (2.43)
- RP FIP: Iglesias (3.45)
- WAR: Votto (4.1)
Joey Votto is good.
The Reds have a bunch of players on the shelf, including four pitchers who would probably have been in their starting rotation if healthy. Brandon Finnegan is down with a lat strain suffered last week, Rookie Davis is out after being hit by a pitch on a bunt attempt earlier this month, de-facto ace Anthony DeSclafani is on the 60-day DL with a lat strain, and he's the de-facto ace since their nominal ace Homer Bailey always seems to be on the DL. Bailey had elbow surgery in Februrary and it out for at least the first half of the year. Joining him in the perpetual DL zone is catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had hip surgery last July and is currently on a rehab assignment. There's a reason why Bronson Arroyo is starting games.
K/9, BB/9, projected ERA listed for each starter.
Lester's peripherals look a lot better than I would have guessed. It certainly seems like he's throwing waaay more pitcher than usual this year, but who knows what's going on with the Cubs pitching staff.
Adleman seems to be the Reds long guy/AAA shuttle rider this year. At least Louisville isn't that far from Cincy. He struck out five in a four inning relief appearance against the Brewers last week to earn this spot start.
Saturday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (9.10, 2.77, 3.13) vs Cody Reed, LHP (8.57, 3.07, 4.41), 12:10 PM CT
Reed is another relief pitcher pressed into service for this series. He made ten starts last year and got shelled, including back to back starts against the Cubs. He gave up fifteen runs in eight innings across those starts, including two homers. But he did have eight perfect innings this April, so he's got that going for him.
Sunday: John Lackey, RHP (8.04, 2.45, 3.68) vs Bronson Arroyo, LOL (4.84, 2.50, 6.25), 12:10 PM CT
I'm glad Arroyo is still around, because I'm always reminded each time that he pops up that he's not left handed, he just has the profile of a soft-tossing junkballer lefty. His projection line is comical. And he still somehow managed to notch a win this season after only allowing one home run in the five innings of work in his last start. His fastball tops out somewhere around 84. I can't wait to see him pitching a shutout into the eighth inning of this game.