After a long mid-series off day, the Cincinnati Reds (5-2) and the Chicago Cubs (6-1) take to the field tonight for the 2nd game of their three-game set. Alfredo Simon makes his second start of the season for the Reds while former Cardinal John Lackey goes for Chicago.
WHERE TO WATCH
If you are in the Cincinnati market, the Reds are on Fox Sports Ohio. If you live in the Chicago area, the game is on CSN.
The following stats are from 2015:
Alfredo Simon’s return to Cincinnati was a solid, albeit short outing. Simon allowed two runs, one earned, in his five inning start last week. He walked two batters but struck out seven. While most of these Cubs hitters don’t have a lot of at-bats against anyone in the league, Anthony Rizzo has five hits, including two homeruns in 15 at-bats against Simon.
John Lackey signed a 2-year deal with the Cubs this past offseason after a career low ERA (2.77) in St. Louis. However, that figure is a full run below his 2015 FIP (3.57), xFIP (3.77), and SIERA (3.90), which indicate that he’s very likely to regress back to his career ERA of 3.93 this season with the Cubs.
Ivan De Jesus is in at shortstop for the injured Zack Cozart. Tucker Barnhart gets the start behind the plate. Of the Reds hitters in tonight’s lineup, Billy Hamilton has had the most success against Lackey (.333/.368/.389) and is in the leadoff spot in Cozart’s absence.
The Cubs have their regular eight tonight with Miguel Montero back in the lineup tonight at the catcher’s position.
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Scott Schebler (LF)
7. Ivan De Jesus (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Alfredo Simon (P)
|1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Jason Heyward (RF)
3. Ben Zobrist (2B)
4. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
5. Kris Bryant (3B)
6. Miguel Montero (C)
7. Jorge Soler (LF)
8. Addison Russell (SS)
9. John Lackey (P)
SUAREZ LEADS THE FIELD IN HOMERUNS
Each team has hit eight homeruns so far this young season. Eugenio Suarez has four homeruns while the rest of his team have four. Seven different Cubs players have homered this season with none of those coming via Kyle Schwarber’s bat before his season ending injury.
BRANDON FINNEGAN’S SIZZLING START
Redleg Nation’s Matt Wilkes profiled Brandon Finnegan and his early success in a Reds uniform earlier today in Kill The Win. In addition to his starts this season, the full article goes back to his starts last year and outlines his pitching repertoire. In conclusion:
It’s still early, but Finnegan has mitigated a lot of the worries that he wouldn’t be able to be a starter in the long run. The lefty has a nasty, four-pitch repertoire that can get hitters out from both sides of the plate, while inducing a high number of strikeouts and ground outs. Although he’s still prone to shaky command from time to time and could stand to get better in that area of his game, he has largely displayed good control in his six starts as a Red (13 walks in 33 2/3 innings).
The Reds are going to bounce back against the Cubs tonight to even up the series and push themselves into a 1st place tie in the division!
Not everyone shares our confidence in the Reds chances today.
It was just one game, and the bullpen is going to pitch better today.