wrigley stands crowdOkay, folks, today’s game is one I’d really like to see a Cubs win.

No, they don’t need this game or series in terms of their place in the season, but after a prolonged rough stretch of baseball, a series win over the Reds right now would just feel nice. A series loss would feel …

It won’t be one of the usual starters for the Cubs today, though, as Adam Warren makes his rotational debut for Chicago. Through 96 innings as a starter for the Yankees last season, Warren kept a 3.66 ERA (3.92 FIP) with just a 17.1% strikeout rate, but an acceptable 7.6% walk rate. He was projected to be quite good as a starter (and a reliever, for that matter), before the season started, so let’s see if he was able to shake the dust off after a brief stint in Iowa. He’ll pitch to Miguel Montero, who gets his first start since July 2 and first non-Arrieta start since June 26.

Opposing Warren, is righty Anthony DeSclafani. The Reds 26-year-old righty gave the Cubs fits last season and is wayyyyy outperforming his peripheral statistics this season (albeit in just 30.1 IP). Consider, through his first five starts this year, DeSclafani is posting a 1.78 ERA, but a 3.70 FIP and 4.66 xFIP. His 84.2% strand rate is certainly going to come down (career 70.1%) and he’ll probably start allowing more home runs than he has (6.1% HR/FB ratio). Hopefully all of that starts today!

DeSclafani has been much worse against lefties (.347 wOBA) than righties (.299 wOBA) for his career, so Maddon and the Cubs have stacked the deck. Five of the eight position players will hit from the left side today (it would have been six with Dexter Fowler, and possibly seven with Kyle Schwarber (why do I keep doing that to myself?)), which should hopefully get things going. Among those five lefties is Tommy La Stella, who is returning from the disabled list and making the start at third base.



 


Game Info

Chicago Cubs (52-31) at Cincinnati Reds (31-54), 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Adam Warren (R): 4.56 ERA, 5.42 FIP, 5.35 xFIP; 1.29 K/BB

versus

Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (R): 1.78 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 4.65 xFIP; 2.56 K/BB



Cincinnati Reds Lineup:

1. Zack Cozart, SS

2. Billy Hamilton, CF

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Adam Duvall, RF

5. Eugenio Suarez, 3B

6. Brandon Phillips, 2B

7. Jose Peraza, LF

8. Tucker Barnhart, C

9. Anthony DeSclafani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Ben Zobrist, RF

2. Kris Bryant, RF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Willson Contreras, LF

5. Tommy La Stella, 3B

6. Jason Heyward, CF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Miguel Montero, C

9. Adam Warren, P




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