Well, the homestand is over, but the Cubs did quite well for themselves against some big division rivals. Now, they’ll head out on the road for six games, three against the Reds in Cincinnati and three more against the Nationals in D.C.
Both teams are solidly below .500, but both have their legitimate strengths, too. The Reds, for example, might be struggling to score runs this season (4.17 scored/game, 22nd in MLB), but their pitching staff has been absolutely nails.
Runs Allowed/Game Leaderboard:
- Rays: 3.15 RA/G
- Reds: 3.44
- Astros: 3.64
- Indians: 3.53
- Cubs: 4.00
As you can see, they’ve allowed fewer runs per game than any team in the National League and remain one of just four clubs – all in the AL – who’ve allowed fewer than 4.00 runs per game. Shoutout to our Cubs, though, who’s 4.00 runs allowed/game ranks second in the NL and fifth overall. Because unlike the Reds, their offense is absolutely clicking (5.42 runs score, 3rd in MLB, tops in the NL). I guess this series boils down to the Cubs offense versus the Reds pitching.
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (24-14) have won two straight contests and 8 of their past 10 overall. They haven’t lost a series in over a month and I don’t want them to start now.
The Cincinnati Reds (18-23) just beat the Giants in two of three, after dropping a series to the A’s. They’re 5-5 in their past ten games, five games under .500, and in last place of the NL Central, 7.5 games behind the Cubs.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
- Tuesday, May 14th at 5:40 CT on NBCSC, 670 The Score
- Wednesday, May 15th at 5:40 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
- Thursday, May 16th at 5:40 CT on NBCSC, 670 The Score
- Kyle Hendricks: 3.19 ERA, 3.06 FIP; 4.25 K/BB
- Yu Darvish: 5.40 ERA, 6.49 FIP; 1.33 K/BB
- Jose Quintana 3.50 ERA, 3.71 FIP; 3.29 K/BB
Active Depth Chart:
- C – Willson Contreras
- 1B – Anthony Rizzo
- 2B – Daniel Descalso
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- SS – Javy Baez
- LF – Kyle Schwarber
- CF – Albert Almora
- RF – Jason Heyward
Unavailable: Brandon Morrow, Tony Barnette, Victor Caratini, Pedro Strop, Ben Zobrist
- Tanner Roark: 3.27 ERA, 3.54 FIP; 1.95 K/BB
- Sonny Gray: 4.15 ERA, 2.98 FIP; 2.56 K/BB
- Luis Castillo: 1.76 ERA, 2.75 FIP; 2.92 K/BB
Active Depth Chart:
- C – Tucker Barnhart
- 1B – Joey Votto
- 2B – Jose Peraza
- 3B – Eugenio Suarez
- SS – Jose Iglesias
- LF – Adam Duvall
- CF – Nick Senzel
- RF – Yasiel Puig
Unavailable: Scooter Gennett
Keep An Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks has lasted at least 7.0 innings with no earned runs in three of his past four starts. He’s absolutely locked in right now and I can’t wait to see what he does to a Reds’ offense with a 74 wRC+ against right-handed pitching (third worst in MLB).
Cubs Player: Right now, the Chicago Cubs have three players with double-digit home runs, which is tied for the most in MLB. But one of those players is NOT Kris Bryant, who’s been surging lately and has always loved to hit in Cincinnati. Let’s see if he can’t join the double-digit club before the weekend, eh?
Reds Pitcher: Then again, Tanner Roark (0.44 HR/9) and Luis Castillo (0.48 HR/9) rank 5th and 6th in terms of least home runs allowed per nine innings this season. And Castillo, in particular, hasn’t even gotten lucky with an out-of-whack HR/FB ratio. He’s just been good at keeping it in the park this year.
Reds Player: Somehow, Joey Votto is slashing .206/.325/.338 (79 wRC+) this season and it is just freaking me out. He hasn’t had a wRC+ below 124 for his ENTIRE CAREER. And it was as high as 164 just two seasons ago. The weirdest thing about his fall is the 24.4% strikeout rate. His previous all-time high was 19.5% … all the way back in 2009. This is just not him.