I am officially – but temporarily – reverting the Chicago Cubs slogan from #EverybodyIn back to #TryNotToSuck … I think we all know why.
Tonight, Jon Lester gets a chance to redeem himself after a weak and abbreviated first outing in Miami, with a start against the Cincinnati Reds.
Interestingly Annoyingly, Lester’s career results against the Reds aren’t that great (4.27 ERA, 21.1K%), but his peripherals are a touch better (3.00 FIP, 3.8 BB%, 20.8 soft%, 24.6 hard%). Hopefully, he can even those up a bit with a nice long, quality start tonight.
After all, there is an off-day tomorrow, but the bullpen has been used quite a bit in the early-going. Worse, they’ve done well, but the Cubs have pretty much nothing to show for it.
Starting opposite Lester is the lefty, Cody Reed. As we explored earlier, Reed is significantly worse against righties than lefties, but it’s the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist, not Albert Almora, getting the nod at leadoff. Almora is still in the lineup, though, and I’m sure we’d all love for him to get it going. Hopefully, a nice juicy matchup playing right into his platoon strengths is exactly what he needs.
Reminder: Javy Baez also handles lefties a lot better than righties, so keep an eye on him tonight, as he looks to snag his first homer of the season.
Billy Hamilton is leading off for the Reds for just the 2nd time this season, and I think it's *precisely* because Jon Lester is on the mound. Look out for bunts and/or stolen bases right away. https://t.co/10Vbqdk4zh
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 3, 2018
And finally … the Cubs currently have a losing record, I’d like for tonight to be the last time that statement is true. KThanksBye.
Chicago Cubs (2-3) at Cincinnati Reds (1-3) – 5:40 CT on WGN, 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): 8.10 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 0.67 K/BB
Reds: Cody Reed (L): 5.09 ERA, 6.67 FIP; 0.89 K/BB (2017 stats, 17.2 IP)
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
- Billy Hamilton, CF
- Gosselin, 2B
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Adam Duvall, LF
- Jesse Winker, RF
- Jose Peraza, SS
- Tucker Barnhart, C
- Cody Reed, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Albert Almora, CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Jon Lester, P