Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Cincinnati-Reds-Mr-RedIt’s a battle atop the NL Central! Technically!

I never get to say that, so I’m saying it.

The Cubs head back to Wrigley Field, winners of their series at Coors Field, and ready to stay above .500 for a while, right?

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs won their last two against the Rockies, giving them a series win, and putting them in second place in the NL Central, tied with the Cardinals at 3-2, a half-game behind …

The Reds, who stand at 4-2 after dropping two of three to those Cardinals.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 13 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
  • Tuesday, April 14 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, April 15 at 7:05 CT on WPWR.

Or you can watch on

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Jon Lester (6.23 ERA, 1.62 FIP; 3.00 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (0.00 ERA, 2.29 FIP; 2.33 K/BB), Travis Wood (5.79 ERA, 2.15 FIP; 2.50 K/BB)


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Jorge Soler, RF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Chris Coghlan, LF
  5. Starlin Castro, SS
  6. Mike Olt, 3B
  7. Miguel Montero, C
  8. Pitcher
  9. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B


Starters: Mike Leake (4.76 ERA, 4.06 FIP; 1.00 K/BB), Anthony DeSclafani (3.00 ERA, 4.17 FIP; 6.00 K/BB), Jason Marquis (4.50 ERA, 3.84 FIP; 3.50 K/BB)


  1. Billy Hamilton, CF
  2. Joey Votto, 1B
  3. Todd Frazier, 3B
  4. Devin Mesoraco, C
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Marlon Byrd, LF
  7. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  8. Zack Cosart, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Obviously, it’s still silly early, but Chris Coghlan’s numbers at the plate are fantastic across the board: he’s sporting a robust .250/.357/.667 line, complete with matching 13.3% K and BB rates.

Anthony Rizzo is still looking for his first extra-base hit.

Arismendy Alcantara is still looking for his first hit altogether, but still has a .294 OBP. Gotta love that 29.4% walk rate. (Ell Oh Ell.)

Hey, remember Jason Marquis? Maybe he can be this series’ LaTroy Hawkins.

The Reds’ regulars on offense generally have great numbers on the short season, with each of Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce hitting exceptionally well. Last year’s breakout star, Devin Mesoraco hasn’t quite gotten hot yet.

Oh, also, Brandon Phillips has a wRC+ of 9. Schadenphillips.

Hamilton has stolen seven bases in just six games, and you’re going to hear A LOT about that tonight when he faces Jon Lester.

Also, don’t forget this:

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