The first place Cincinnati Reds (9-7) will host the world champion Chicago Cubs (8-7) in the first of a three game series at Great American Ballpark tonight at 7:10. The Reds are coming off back-to-back series losses, and have lost 5 of 7. Despite that, the Reds still hold a slim half game lead in the NL Central. However, a loss tonight would mean the best case scenario for the Reds would be second place.
|Chicago Cubs||8-7||0.5 GB|
|Milwaukee Brewers||9-8||0.5 GB|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||6-9||2.5 GB|
|St. Louis Cardinals||6-10||3.o GB|
The Cubs were swept by the Pirates last weekend, and lost four straight games. They have however won their last two games. Just a few days ago, sites like BettingSports ranked the Cubs and Reds #1 and #30 respectively in odds of winning the World Series.
Tim Adleman‘s only appearance with the Reds this season came this past Sunday in relief. Adleman pitched a solid four innings (4-7). He only made one start at AAA: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
All of Adleman’s 13 appearances last year with the Reds came in starts. The results were good (4.00 ERA), but the peripherals were about what you would expect (5.30 FIP). He doesn’t strike out a lot batters, but the one thing he does well is throw strikes. That is very important against a patient Cubs lineup. Adleman has shown himself subject to the long ball.
Adleman made two starts against the Cubs last year, and it went mostly well (3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K). He gave up home runs to Addison Russell and Wilson Contreras.
Jon Lester is coming off a 2016 season where he finished second in the Cy Young voting. He is off to another great start to 2017. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Pirates in his last start.
Lester has a 3.32 ERA in 9 career starts against the Reds (all coming with the Cubs in 2015-16). Eugenio Suarez and Billy Hamilton both have two career home runs against Lester. Hamilton and Peraza are a combined 10 for 20. Adam Duvall is 2 for 15. Votto is 7 for 24, and has surprisingly never been walked by Lester.
|1. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Addison Russell (SS)
5. Jason Heyward (RF)
6. Willson Contreras (C)
7. Javier Baez (2B)
8. Jon Lester (P)
9. Albert Almora (CF)
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tim Adleman (P)
The Cubs offense (101 wRC+) and the Reds (97 wRC+) have been about similar in overall production. The Cubs have a significant advantage in OBP (.337 vs .306), but the Reds have been better in the power department (20 HR vs 13 HR).
Tony Cingrani was sent to the 10-day DL with an oblique injury. The Reds called up Phillip Ervin to take Cingrani’s spot. Steve wrote more on Ervin being called up earlier today.
Other news and notes
The Reds need to get back to winning baseball. What better time to do that than against the Cubs? Go Reds!