Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Cincinnati-Reds-Mr-RedBack to Wrigley Field for a four-game set against the Reds, with the bleachers finally fully open, from left to right. I’ll be there in the right field corner if you’d like to say hello.

As we’ve discussed, the Cubs don’t have many series against sub-.500 teams these days, so they’ve got to take advantage when they can, especially at home.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs managed a winning road trip, even after losing two of three to the Marlins, taking three of four from the Nationals and then splitting in Detroit. The Cubs are 6.5 back of the Cardinals.

The Reds have won four in a row, though three of them came over the Phillies. They’ve pulled to within four games of .500, and hopefully the Cubs will unburden them of feeling like they’re so close to being a winning team.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Thursday, June 11 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Friday, June 12 at 3:05 CT on WGN-9.
  • Saturday, June 13 at 6:15 CT on FOX.
  • Sunday, June 14 at 7:08 CT on ESPN.

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: Tsuyoshi Wada (4.19 ERA, 4.30 FIP; 2.86 K/BB), Jason Hammel (2.76 ERA, 2.95 FIP; 8.44 K/BB), Kyle Hendricks (3.96 ERA, 3.50 FIP; 4.00 K/BB), Jon Lester (4.25 ERA, 3.66 FIP; 3.50 K/BB)


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Junior Lake, RF
  6. Starlin Castro, SS
  7. Chris Coghlan, LF
  8. Pitcher
  9. Addison Russell, 2B


Starters: Michael Lorenzen (3.29 ERA, 5.74 FIP; 1.05 K/BB), Johnny Cueto (2.64 ERA, 3.18 FIP; 5.21 K/BB), Mike Leake (4.29 ERA, 4.79 FIP; 2.04 K/BB), Anthony DeSclafani (3.53 ERA, 3.71 FIP; 1.71 K/BB)


  1. Billy Hamilton, CF
  2. Joey Votto, 1B
  3. Todd Frazier, 3B
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Ivan De Jesus, Jr., LF
  7. Brayan Pena, C
  8. Eugenio Suarez/Kristopher Negron, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Miguel Montero was in quite a slump before last night’s breakout, which brought his season line back up to a very nice .241/.361/.423.

Starlin Castro in June: .281/.324/.469, .320 BABIP, 17.6% K rate, 2.9% BB rate, .344 wOBA, 115 wRC+. Please be the start of a huge turnaround.

And yet another turnaround in progress? Dexter Fowler is at .346/.370/.462 over the past week.

The Reds are awfully banged up, with Devin Mesoraco and Marlon Byrd out, Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton dinged up, and Zack Cosart likely head to the DL in advance of this series.

Todd Frazier has overtaken Joey Votto (161 to 160 in wRC+) ever so slightly as the offensive leader right now on the Reds. He’s hitting an unsightly .293/.363/.604 on the season, and not unlike Rizzo-Bryant, it’s tough to face those guys back-to-back.

After a serious slump that had folks questioning whether he was going to be a free agency darling after all, Mike Leake has posted consecutive great starts.

… against the Phillies.

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