Series Preview: Reds v. Cubs, August 31 – September 2, 2015

Cincinnati-Reds-Mr-RedThe last time these two teams played, we got The Kyle Schwarber Game, and The Taylor Teagarden Game. They were a heckuva lot of fun, even if, you’ll recall, the Cubs were otherwise mired in one of their worst stretches of the year.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs struggled through a 2-4 West Coast road trip, but I’m pretty sure a Jake Arrieta no-hitter is worth like six or seven wins, so it was definitely a net gain.

The Reds, who’ve sold off mightily in the last month, have won twice in their last 16 games. You read that correctly. Hopefully the Cubs can keep that misery up.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, August 31 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, September 1 at 7:05 CT on WGN-9.
  • Wednesday, September 2 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
  • 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: Kyle Hendricks (4.11 ERA, 3.50 FIP; 3.65 K/BB), Dan Haren (6.31 ERA, 6.31 FIP; 3.33 K/BB), Jason Hammel (3.42 ERA, 3.61 FIP; 4.50 K/BB)


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


    Starters: Michael Lorenzen (5.46 ERA, 5.75 FIP; 1.23 K/BB), Anthony DeSclafani (3.84 ERA, 3.98 FIP; 2.28 K/BB), Raisel Iglesias (3.92 ERA, 3.37 FIP; 3.78 K/BB)


    1. Jason Bourgeois, CF
    2. Jay Bruce, RF
    3. Joey Votto, 1B
    4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
    5. Todd Frazier, 3B
    6. Eugenio Suarez, SS
    7. Brayan Pena, C
    8. Skip Schumaker, LF
    9. Pitcher

    Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

    Starlin Castro is really taking to his new role so far, hitting .333/.333/.479 in 48 plate appearances since he was removed from his starting gig at shortstop, and turned into something of a platoon second baseman/utility player. He hasn’t walked at all during that stretch, but he’s also struck out just three times (6.3%).

    No Jake Arrieta or Jon Lester in this series for the Cubs, so hopefully the other three starters can really step up.

    Kyle Schwarber since August 9: .147/.263/.426. Don’t get too down on him, though. This is a thing that happens to rookies. Heck, slumps like this happen to vets, too.

    Anthony Rizzo’s gone a little cold the last two weeks, hitting .182/.250/.382. The .200 BABIP is part of that, but his strikeout rate is an unseemly 28.3%.

    Raisel Iglesias has averaged more than six innings per start in his last five outings, and posted a 2.18 ERA, 2.78 FIP, and 2.22 xFIP. Yikes. Hopefully he’s due for a stinker.

    Joey Votto is still blisteringly good, but other Reds batters have really fallen off of late. Jay Bruce has hit .135/.168/.260 since August 5th with a wRC+ that I can count on one finger.

    Todd Frazier’s been great the last 10 days – .366/.395/.585 – but his post-All-Star-break numbers are a gross .229/.270/.398 (77 wRC+). Something something Home Run Derby something.

    written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.

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