The Cincinnati Reds look for a five game series sweep this afternoon against the Chicago Cubs in Great American Ballpark. Last night’s win coupled with the Brewers loss puts the Reds just 2.5 games back in the standings. Yesterday’s games also gave the Reds the best run differential (+27) in the National League Central division.
WHERE TO WATCH
The afternoon game is not on Fox Sports Ohio, but you can find it televised nationally on WGN.
Homer Bailey makes his last start prior to the all-star break for Cincinnati. Bailey has thrown 17 innings over his last two starts, allowing just 1 run, 10 hits, 5 walks, and striking out 15. In two starts against the Cubs this season, he’s allowed 4 runs over 11.1 innings.
The Cubs will start a minor league pitcher for their third consecutive game: the 24-year-old pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks makes his major league debut. In 23 AAA starts in 2013 and 2014, Hendricks has a 3.28 ERA with 0.4 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 7.8 K/9 ratios. Fangraph’s provided a thorough scouting report on Hendricks in the offseason:
The hurler’s  numbers immediately jump out: 1.85 ERA, 107 hits allowed in 126.1 innings (7.72 H/9) and just 26 walks (1.85 BB/9). The catch with Hendricks, though, is that he has a fringe-average fastball in the 87-91 mph range. He’s dominated hitters in the minors due to above-average control and command of his four-pitch repertoire (fastball, curveball, cutter, changeup).
One report from a couple of weeks ago indicate that Hendrick’s fastball has been hitting 95 mph on occasion this season.
#Reds have 20 5-game series sweeps in their history, last in 1976 vs San Diego. Cubs in 1931. Swept Brooklyn 6 times.
Get out the brooms, turn on the game, and join us in the discussion here.