Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds (19-18) at Chicago Cubs (18-19)

In Series Previews by berselius35 Comments

Well, here we are in fourth place with a losing record. Just like we thought at the beginning of the season, right? The Reds have been streaky all year, already with two four-plus game winning streaks and losing streaks. Votto continues to be Votto and Cozart is building on last year's solid season, but the WAR leader on the team is none other than Pat Hughes favorite Eugenio Suarez, who also leads the team in defensive numbers. Overall the team leads all of baseball in team defense, after finishing sixth in the category last year. Despite some early season signs of life, their starting pitching is once again worst in the league by FIP but their bullpen has taken a huge step forward, going from worst in the league to solidly above average.

Team Leaders

Reds

Cubs

Injuries, transactions, vengeance pacts, etc.

The better question right now is who isn't injured for the Cubs. Bryant missed most of the last series with flu-like symptoms, and Zobrist and Jay are both dealing with back spasms. Addison Russell missed some time with a sore shoulder, and it sounds like Heyward won't be back when his DL stint expires during this series.

Aside from guys with long term injuries like Bailey and DeSclefani, the Reds have a few notable players banged up. Cozart missed a few games last weekend with wrist soreness, and Tony Cingrani is out with an oblique strain.

Pitching Matchups

K%, BB%, ERA, projected ERA listed for each starter

Tuesday: Bronson Arroyo, LOL (16.0%, 7.1%, 5.94, 5.94) vs John Lackey (25.3%, 6.0%, 4.29, 3.67), 7:05 PM CT

Bronson Arroyo had to come back this year to remind everyone that he is the most infuriating pitcher in the league to shut your team down. He did worse than I remembered (giving up two runs) in his last start against the Cubs, but anything less than six off of him feels like a disappointment.

Wednesday: Scott Feldman, RHP (17.8%, 8.9%, 3.59, 4.79) vs Kyle Hendricks, RHP (21.0%, 9.9%, 3.40, 3.42), 7:05 PM CT

It's too bad this couldn't have been a Feldman-Arrieta matchup. With Steve Clevenger catching. It's hard to believe that a guy with a 5.60 K/9 is in his thirteenth season in the bigs, but here we are.

Hendricks has looked more like himself in his last few starts, which is great to see. His velocity is still down and he's still walking a lot more than he used to, but at least he's back to being a useful pitcher again.

Thursday: Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP (20.8%, 9.4%, 4.85, 4.57) vs Jon Lester, LHP (24.6%, 10.1%, 3.45, 3.23), 1:20 PM CT

The Cubs saw Bonilla in the last Reds series after they shelled Cody Reed out of the game by the third inning. Bonilla pitched five innings in relief, giving up four additional runs. He came up to make a spot start against the Giants last week and pitched a complete game loss, giving up three runs including two solo shots.

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Comments

  1. Berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    LF Schwarber
    RF Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    CF Happ
    3B Candelario
    SS Russell
    C Contreras
    P Lackey
    2B Baez

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  2. Edwin

    I guess the last couple seasons the Cubs have been pretty fine throwing out players wherever they want. Maybe it’s just Joe being Joe. When you have the type of early season division lead the Cubs have, you can afford to experiment with your team.

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  3. dmick89

    I think Happ has played a little CF or they’ve talked about it anyway. It’s pretty easy for a 2nd baseman to move to CF, especially if he’s used to catching fly balls.

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  4. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Send that bum Schwarber to Iowa and make Happ the LF my frents

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