The Cubs head to Cincinnati for four games in three days.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs dropped their first game after the break, but managed to take the final two. They stand a game ahead of the Giants for the second Wild Card spot, and 3.5 games behind the Pirates. Getting some breathing room would be nice.
The Reds limped into the break, having been swept by the Brewers, taking two from the Nationals, and then losing three of four from the Marlins. They then lost two of three to the Indians in their first series after the break.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, July 20 at 6:10 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, July 21 at 6:10 CT on CSN, MLBN.
- Wednesday, July 22 at 11:35 CT on ABC-7.
- Wednesday, July 22 at 5:10 CT on ABC-7.
Or you can watch on MLB.tv.
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: Clayton Richard (5.79 ERA, 3.27 FIP; 1.25 K/BB), Jason Hammel (2.86 ERA, 3.05 FIP; 5.83 K/BB), Kyle Hendricks (3.44 ERA, 3.23 FIP; 4.67 K/BB), TBA (probably Dallas Beeler)
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, C
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Jorge Soler, RF
- Chris Coghlan, LF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Addison Russell, 2B
Starters: Michael Lorenzen (3.53 ERA, 5.69 FIP; 1.21 K/BB), Raisel Iglesias (5.90 ERA, 3.23 FIP; 3.00 K/BB), Mike Leake (3.95 ERA, 4.09 FIP; 2.45 K/BB), TBA
- Brandon Phillips, 2B
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Todd Frazier, 3B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Marlon Byrd, LF
- Brayan Pena, C
- Eugenio Suarez, SS
- Billy Hamilton, CF
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Signs of life from Dexter Fowler? Since the start of the four-game Cardinals series on July 6, Fowler has a .395 OBP. The bad news is that his slugging during that time is an abysmal .286. Fowler hasn’t homered in a month, and he has just five extra-base hits since June 14.
Jason Hammel makes his first start after leaving his final start before the break after the first inning with a hamstring issue. Here’s hoping he shows he’s fully healthy.
Remember that Billy Hamilton is hitting .217/.266/.281 with a 50 wRC+ when he’s dominating the Cubs in this one. He does it again and again, and I’ve learned to just accept it.
Eugenio Suarez has been a revelation for the Reds, hitting .314/.352/.500, making him the third best bat on the team behind Joey Votto and Todd Frazier.
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