The Chicago Cubs head home to host the Cincinnati Reds for a three-game set. The Reds aren’t quite the towering powerhouse they looked to be when the season started, but they’re probably a good bit better than their near-.500 record would suggest.
By way of reminder, the Series Preview hooks you up with what you need to know about every series this year – streaks, broadcast information, pitchers, lineups, etc. That way you can look like a genius, hardcore fan in front of all your friends, with minimum effort. Oh, and there will be pictures of beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs just took two out of three in Los Angeles, which gave them a winning road trip (4-3). It wasn’t a dominating trip, but we’ll take baby steps. At 14-16, the Cubs are three games behind the Cardinals in the Central.
The Reds have cooled considerably after a hot start this year. Though they just won two of three against the Astros in a rain-abbreviated series, before that, they lost five consecutive series. They’re 16-15 on the year.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, May 6 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
- Saturday, May 7 at 12:10 CT on FOX.
- Sunday, May 8 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Matt Garza (1-3, 3.96), Casey Coleman (1-2, 7.36), Ryan Dempster (1-3, 8.05)
- Fukudome, RF
- Barney, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
Starters: Edinson Volquez (2-1, 5.67), Bronson Arroyo (3-3, 4.17), Johnny Cueto (0-0, -.–)
- Drew Stubbs, CF
- Chris Heisey, LF Paul Janish, SS
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Brandon Phillips, 2B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Ramon Hernandez, C
- Paul Janish, 3B
- Edgar Renteria, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Carlos Pena has homered in back-to-back games after not homering all year before that (though he was within feet of a homer in the three games he played prior to those two). So maybe there’s a serious homer binge on the way.
Marlon Byrd is also hot, he’s got hits in 11 of his last 12 games, including his first homer of the season against the Dodgers.
Matt Garza has been very, very good. Advanced metrics still say he’s been one of the top three pitchers in all of baseball this year.
The three Reds pitchers the Cubs will be facing make for an interesting trio of story lines. Up first, Edinson Volquez has been a guy who is a completely different pitcher in the first inning and then thereafter. He’s coming off his best outing, though, giving up just one run and two hits to the Marlins in five innings of work. Also, he always dominates the Cubs (ERA under 1.00 in three career starts against the Cubs).
Then there’s Bronson Arroyo, who has pitched relatively ok all season despite suffering from mono. That usually takes guys out for a couple months.
The Reds close the series out with Johnny Cueto, who’s making his first start of the season after battling an acute case of Dusty Baker. I kid, mostly – Cueto is coming back from shoulder inflammation. For what it’s worth, he was pretty crappy in his rehab outings at AAA.
Also for the Reds, Joey Votto is freaking good. He’s reached base in every single game this year.
The Series She-View is one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent. The Cubs’ representative will change as the team’s needs change – in other words, if the Cubs are winning, the rep will stay the same. But if the Cubs’ performance calls for a change, someone new will step in. The opponent’s representative will change from series to series, at my whim. But at least she’ll probably be wearing the opponent’s colors or something like that.
The Chicago Cubs are currently represented in the Series She-View by Sofia Vergara, and she’ll keep her job after a series win at the Dodgers Diamondbacks. As the Cubs rep, it was a fairly impressive series for Sofia, and as a human being, it was glorious.
As for the Reds, we’ll keep doing the redhead thing. Ronald McDonald it is. Ok, fine, how about Isla Fisher?