Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, April 2 - April 3, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, April 2 – April 3, 2018

Chicago Cubs

Martha-dear, fetch me more rocks to kick around solemnly, won’t you?

What an annoying first series of the year. Ultimately, the Cubs came away with two wins on the road, so it’s not like it was a disaster, but still. This Cubs team versus that Marlins team, with this rotation and the Marlins’ last-minute pitching injuries/changes? Yuck. I’m nowhere near getting worried/concerned (that 17-inning game could’ve easily gone the other way), but it’s annoying nonetheless.

But the good news about getting crushed on the road by a bad team yesterday, is that this is baseball, and the Cubs have a whole lot of games left, including one in just five hours! Woo.

The Cubs will now head to Cincinnati for a two-game series, before getting an off-day on Wednesday and heading to Milwaukee for four straight. After that, they’ll return home to Wrigley Field for their first home series of the year (against the Pirates).

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (2-2) split their first series of the year, winning and losing two in Miami. They’re currently in third place of the NL Central, as each of the Brewers and Pirates started off with three-game sweeps.

The Cincinnati Reds (0-3) were swept at the hands of the Nationals to start the season, and are in last place in their division.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, April 2 at 3:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, MLBN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, April 3 at 5:40 CT on WGN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • T. Chatwood (0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP; 0.00 K/BB)
  • J. Lester (8.10 ERA, 4.52 FIP; 0.67 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez/Ben Zobrist
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Ian Happ/Albert Almora
  • RF – Jason Heyward

Miami Marlins

Probable Pitchers:

  • T. Mahle (0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP; 0.00 K/BB)
  • C. Reed (0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP; 0.00 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Tucker Barnhart
  • 1B – Joey Votto
  • 2B – Scooter Gennett
  • 3B – Eugenio Suarez
  • SS – Jose Peraza
  • LF – Adam Duvall
  • CF – Billy Hamilton
  • RF – Scott Schebler

Keep an Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Jon Lester lasted just 3.1 innings in his Opening Day start against the Marlins, and will surely be looking to get back on track with a nice, long start in Cincinnati. And even if he doesn’t have his best stuff, it would be nice to see him spare the bullpen some work, because they’ve already thrown 24.0 innings this season, which is second only to the Marlins (24.2) and well above the third place Rays (17.0 IP).

Cubs Player: Kyle Schwarber is off to a a great start in 2018, with two doubles, two homers, and five total hits through his first four games of the season. Given Willson Contreras’ cold start, it’s nice to see Schwarber pick up some middle-of-the-order slack.

Reds Pitcher(s)Tyler Mahle and Cody Reed, are the Reds starters in this one, and both are young guys, who only recently made their Major League debuts. But while they may be inexperienced, both are relatively well thought-of. Indeed, Mahle (7th round) and Reed (2nd round) were taken in the same 2013 draft, and both were considered consensus top 100 prospects at one point over the past few years (the former as recently as this offseason). Given their pedigree and how unfamiliar the Cubs will be with them, they might not be the easiest matchups.

Reds Player: Joey Votto may be getting older, but there’s no reason to believe he’s slowing down anytime soon (hell, he was a 6.6 WAR player last year with a 165 wRC+). Through the first three games of the season, he’s recorded just three hits (all singles) and a walk, so he, too, will be looking for his first big knock of the year. Hopefully, he doesn’t get it.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami