The Cincinnati Reds (50-70) are coming off an exciting 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs (62-56) last night behind a terrific start from Luis Castillo. The two teams will play game 3 of 4 this evening at 8:05 PM. The Cubs lead in the NL Central is now down to 1.5 games over both the Brewers and Cardinals.
Homer Bailey is coming off an OK start in Milwaukee: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K. It was nice to see Bailey not get beat around, but he has got to find a way to cut down on the walks. Probably the most concerning this about Bailey is so far is the low strikeout numbers. You would expect Bailey to have command issues, and give up some long balls coming back from a serious injury, but you would expect him to miss more bats. The positive is that his fastball velocity is still at 93.9, which is right about his career average.
Bailey has a career 4.37 ERA in 16 starts against the Cubs. He however has a 3.00 career ERA in 8 starts at Wrigley Field. Bailey hasn’t faced the Cubs since 2014, and has never faced the majority of the current Cubbies.
John Lackey is having a fairly disappointing year for the Cubs. He is giving away home runs like it is in style, to the tune of 2.09 per 9 innings. The Reds certainly hope the wind is blowing out of Wrigley tonight. Lackey has a 3.90 career ERA in 15 starts against the Reds. He however has a 6.35 ERA in 2 starts against the Reds this season.
You can find the lineups here.
Votto seeks to tie MLB record tonight
Joey Votto has now reached base at least 2x in 20 consecutive games. That is feat that has only been accomplished three previous times in MLB history (records go back to 1900): Ted Williams (22 – 1948), Barry Bonds (20 – 2004), and Pete Rose (20 – 1979).
Votto is hitting a ridiculous .435/.611/.742 over the last 20 games. Votto now leads all of baseball in OBP (.448) and OPS (1.048). Votto has also now cracked the top 5 in the NL in fWAR (4.9), and is not far behind the leader (Goldschmidt, 5.5).
Other news and notes
The Reds have a 1-game winning streak going. It would be cool for that to reach 2 with a great performance from Homer Bailey tonight. Oh, and it would be pretty cool if that Joey Votto guy tied an MLB record tonight. Go Votto! Go Reds!