After dropping game one of the series, the Reds will need a win tonight to avoid a lot of bad things from becoming reality. A loss tonight means a five game losing streak, a sub-.500 record, and a second straight series loss. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!
The Reds will send their most valuable pitcher to the mound tonight in Scott Feldman. He’s acquired almost a full Win Above Replacement, which is more than any of the Cubs pitching staff, save Jon Lester, can say. Feldman has been underperforming his FIP numbers, and is arguably outperforming Dan Straily’s start to his 2016 season with the Reds. This will be Feldman’s first start against the Cubs in 2017.
Kyle Hendricks will try to bring doom to the Cincinnati Reds tonight. Like Feldman, he’s got pretty good numbers despite a high walk rate. Unlike Feldman, Hendricks’ numbers are more closely in line with what pundits expected he might do in 2017. After giving up 11 runs in his first 16 innings, Hendricks has improved on things a bit, giving up only 4 runs in his last 23.2 IP.
|CF Billy Hamilton (73 wRC+)||LF Kyle Shwarber (83 wRC+)|
|SS Zack Cozart (161 wRC+)||3B Kris Bryant (150 wRC+)|
|1B Joey Votto (154 wRC+)||1B Anthony Rizzo (101 wRC+)|
|LF Adam Duvall (109 wRC+)||CF Ian Happ (296 wRC+)|
|3B Eugenio Suarez (128 wRC+)||2B Ben Zobrist (87 wRC+)|
|RF Scott Schebler (116 wRC+)||SS Addison Russell (74 wRC+)|
|2B Jose Peraza (57 wRC+)||C Miguel Montero (120 wRC+)|
|C Tucker Barnhart (78 wRC+)||P Kyle Hendricks (3.97 xFIP)|
|P Scott Feldman (4.19 xFIP)||RF Jon Jay (106 wRC+)|
The only difference between tonight’s Reds lineup and last night’s is the man on the mound. The offense was good enough to win most games last night, with Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Tucker Barnhart all going yard. However, if you give up more runs than you score, you lose the game. Scott Feldman should give the Reds a better chance at preventing runs than Bronson Arroyo.
The Cubs lineup tonight is somehow an improvement on the winning lineup from last night’s game. As far as wRC+ goes, Ben Zobrist, Jon Jay and Miguel Montero are all hitting better than the guys they’re replacing in the lineup. On top of that, the mainstays of Shwarber, Bryant and Rizzo all saw their wRC+ improve from last night’s game, and rookie Ian Happ continues to obliterate everything that comes his way.
News and Notes
Last night’s seems an awful lot like foreshadowing for the series. Both teams hit the ball well, albeit aided by a gust of wind blowing would-be flyouts into the outfield seats. The Cubs are going to start clicking again eventually, but as a Reds fan I was hoping that might be delayed a few games. Here’s to hoping Reds pitching MVP Scott Feldman can put a stop to things.