wrigley field from right bleachersIf the Cubs manage to win today, they’ll do something they haven’t yet done all season: win a series.

Carlos Villanueva could be making his last fill-in start for the Cubs, and he draws a tough matchup against Homer Bailey (despite his early season struggles, the dude is good). Villanueva really struggled the last time out against the Cardinals, which was hopefully a blip – he’s not going to dominate you, but Villanueva is usually pretty reliable for a decent, keep-you-in-the-game type start.

Mike Olt – proud owner of some odd early-season stats – gets a start today against a righty. Did I say these would slowly start coming? We’re three weeks into the season, y’all. If you were freaking out about the platoons involving Lake and Olt last week, I dubbed you silly. I still dub you silly. With love, of course.



Indeed, the three homer boys from yesterday – Olt, Welington Castillo, and Darwin Barney – are all in the lineup again today, batting in order. Clearly, back-to-back-to-back is on the way today.

Your hilarious, early-season stat for Homer Bailey: check out his ERA/FIP/xFIP line. Know why that xFIP is so low compared to the other two? Because his HR/FB ratio is 60(!)%. That’s right: of his 10 fly balls this year, six of them have gone out of the park. That’s lulz in the extreme.

How about Villanueva’s whacky stats: .429 BABIP, 49.5% LOB, and no walks yet. I guess you could argue he just hasn’t had a chance to give up a walk yet.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (7-10) at Chicago Cubs (5-11), 1:20 CT on WCIU.

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

Homer Bailey (8.16 ERA, 7.19 FIP, 2.70 xFIP; 3.40 K/BB)

versus

Carlos Villanueva (11.57 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 4.29 xFIP; [error] 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. Homer Bailey, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Ryan Sweeney, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Mike Olt, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney

9. Carlos Villanueva, P




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