The Cincinnati Reds roll into Wrigley, hoping that a 4-games series in Chicago is good for what ails them. It’s already the 4th meeting between the two teams this season with Cincinnati owning the 7-2 series advantage.
Since the teams’ last entanglement near the end of May, Chicago has actually won more games than they’ve lost, going 6-5 against the White Sox, Diamondbacks, Angels, and Pirates. The Cubs currently find themselves in 4th place in the division, having jumped over Milwaukee in the standings. Their run differential suggests that the Cubs record should be a lot better than it is and a lot closer to the Pirates, who are outplaying their expected win-loss record.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Most of these matchups seem to be about even on paper, though Feldman and Wood seem to be playing with unsustainably low BABIP’s.
|Mon 8:05pm||Scott Feldman||2.84||3.82||1.17||.256||1.0||2.7||7.0|
|Tue 8:05pm||Matt Garza||4.03||3.79||1.16||.262||0.8||3.2||8.5|
|Tony Cingrani (L)||3.27||3.09||1.03||.247||1.9||2.5||11.2|
|Wed 2:20pm||Travis Wood (L)||2.65||4.43||1.01||.220||0.6||3.0||6.5|
|Thu 2:20pm||Jeff Samardzija||3.18||3.02||1.13||.282||0.9||3.1||10.4|
— Scott Feldman is coming off back-to-back quality starts. His outing prior to that was a 5 run, 5 inning outing against the Reds.
— Matt Garza is making just his 5th start of the season. He’s yet to have a dominant outing, and his last against Cincinnati was his shortest – 4 runs allowed on 4 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings.
— Travis Wood has had quality starts in 11 of his 12 games. His only non-quality start came in his last start against Cincinnati: 7 hits, 3 walks and 5 runs in 5.2 innings.
— Jeff Samardzija allowed 4 runs in 6 innings against Pittsburgh last week, breaking a string of four straight quality starts. Samardzija has allowed just 1 earned run in each of his 6 inning starts against Cincinnati this year, though the Cubs have lost both of those starts.
WHERE TO WATCH
All four games are scheduled to be on Fox Sports Ohio. Nationally, Tuesday’s game is on WGN and Wednesday’s day game is on MLB Network. If you live in the Chicago market, the games on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be on CSN.
The Cubs have been tinkering with this weakest link on their team all season. Zack Putman and Blake Parker are the most recent callups from AAA Iowa. Kyuji Fujikawa, signed in the offseason to setup and eventually replace Carlos Marmol as team’s closer, was moved to the 60-day DL last week. He’s scheduled to have season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
PROBABLE BATTING LINEUP
It’s the same lineup as they’ve been using all season with one recent tweak. Manager Dave Sveum has bumped Luis Valbuena up to the 2nd spot in the batting order, while dropping Castro down to the 7th spot. Also, DeJesus and Valbuena have been in a strict platoon at their respective positions, recently. So, expect to see Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom get the starts against lefty Tony Cingrani on Tuesday night.
Since last facing Chicago, the Reds have won just 6 of 13 games. With 7 straight games against the Cubs and then the Brewers, the Reds need to take advantage of the schedule and rebound from their recent play. However, the Cubs starting pitching has not been weak. The Reds will need to work their way into the Chicago bullpen, and hope that their own bullpen can reverse its recent unstellar performances.