And we’re back.
An off-day after a day-game means that we’ll have gone more than two full days without baseball. I hardly made it, how about you?
Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are beginning a nine-game road-trip on the eastern-half of the country, tackling the Reds, Pirates, and Red Sox in three three-game sets. After dropping four in a row to the Pirates (3) and Brewers (1), the Cubs won their final two games at Wrigley Field in dramatic fashion. Here’s to keeping up the winning, but dropping the dramatic part. (Well, whatever. Just keep winning.)
Starting for the Cubs today is lefty Jon Lester. Lester has gotten off to a great start this season in the results department (1.00 ERA), and his peripherals suggest good things as well (2.02 FIP). In fact, his walk rate, strikeout rate, and batting average against are all pretty much in line with his Cy Young Finalist 2016 season, despite having to deal with a BABIP some 30 points higher.
Although to be fair, he’s giving up some harder contact this season, so perhaps the BABIP increase isn’t all luck related. Even still, good stuff.
Opposing Lester and the Cubs is Reds righty, Tim Adleman. Adleman made 13 starts with the Reds in his debut season last year, though this’ll be his first start of 2017. He was fairly hittable last year (4.00 ERA) and his career 35.8% ground ball rate might not suit him well against a Cubs team that loves to hit homers off Reds’ pitchers.
It’s not a huge sample (or a huge split), but Adleman has fared better against righties (.318 wOBA) than lefties (.337 wOBA) for his career. Even still, it’s Javy Baez in there at second base and Albert Almora in center tonight, as both left-hander Jon Jay and switch-hitting Ben Zobrist watch from the dugout.
Joe Maddon has gone defense first for Jon Lester starts a lot this year. Let’s see if this lineup can get the Cubs to their second three-game winning streak of the season.
Chicago Cubs (8-7) at Cincinnati Reds (9-7) – 6:10 CT on WGN-9, MLBN, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 1.00 ERA, 2.02 FIP, 3.52 xFIP; 3.40 K/BB
Reds: Tim Adleman (R): 2.25 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 2.78 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
- Billy Hamilton, CF
- Jose Peraza, 2B
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Adam Duvall, LF
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Zack Cozart, SS
- Scott Schebler, RF
- Tucker Barnhart, C
- Tim Adleman, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jon Lester, P
- Albert Almora, Jr., CF