wrigley field from right bleachersIf Jeff Samardzija fancies himself the Cubs’ ace, today’s his day to stop the bleeding. Of course, he may have to do a little with his bat.

Junior Lake seems to be earning himself more and more playing time, regardless of the handedness of the pitcher; which will likely only accentuate for some of you the fact that Luis Valbuena starts today over Mike Olt. I have very few additional thoughts on the subject beyond what I’ve already said. We’re barely halfway through April. There will be plenty of starts to be had by Olt, and you’re going to see them steadily rise as the year goes on (so long as he does the bare minimum to justify it).

The rule of the day: keep Billy Hamilton off base, if for no other reason than he’ll be in everyone’s mind if and when he does get on base. It’s just kind of annoying, which I suppose is the point.



Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (6-9) at Chicago Cubs (4-10), 1:20 CT on WGN, MLBN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Alfredo Simon (1.20 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 3.79 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (1.29 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 3.00 K/BB)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Billy Hamilton, CF

2. Joey Votto, 1B

3. Brandon Phillips, 2B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Todd Frazier, 3B

6. Ryan Ludwick, LF

7. Devin Mesoraco, C

8. Zack Cosart, SS

9. Alfredo Simon, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Ryan Sweeney, CF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P




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