Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, June 21 - June 24, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, June 21 – June 24, 2018

Chicago Cubs

I am off to Greece today, but not before sneaking in one final Series Preview before I’m gone.

The Cubs are off to Cincinnati today for the beginning of an eight-game, two-series road trip that hits the West Coast Dodgers for four-games after first playing four against the Reds. After that, the Cubs will head back to Wrigley for three more games against the Twins, before mercifully receiving a much-needed off-day on July 2.

Luckily, they’ll get another off-day just two games after that (Tigers) and at that point, the All-Star break will be in sight. Hopefully, by then, the Cubs will have built up a nice first-place lead, and can relax, rest, and heal up during the break.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (42-29) nearly took all three games from the Dodgers this week, but both halves of the double-header could’ve gone either way, so they’re happy with a series win.

The Cincinnati Reds (28-45) may be in last place of the NL Central yet again, but they did just win three-straight and six of their last eight games. They’re still one of the weaker teams in the NL, though, so hopefully the Cubs can take advantage.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Thursday, June 21 at 6:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, MLBN (out-of-market) 670 The Score
  • Friday, June 22 at 6:10 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, June 23 at 3:10 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, June 24 at NBC Sports Chicago at 12:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (3.55 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 2.78 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (4.06 ERA, 4.28 FIP; 2.09 K/BB)
  • TBA
  • Tyler Chatwood (3.95 ERA, 4.93 FIP; 1.02 K/BB)/Mike Montgomery (3.11 ERA, 3.84 FIP; 2.00 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

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

Unavailable: Brandon Morrow, Eddie Butler, Yu Darvish, Carl Edwards Jr.

Cincinnati Reds

Probable Pitchers:

  • Matt Harvey (5.92 ERA, 5.34 FIP; 2.42 K/BB)
  • Luis Castillo (5.77 ERA, 5.17 FIP; 2.45 K/BB)
  • Anthony DeSclafani (4.60 ERA, 4.44 FIP; 3.75 K/BB)
  • Sal Romano (5.18 ERA, 5.16 FIP; 1.60 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

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

Unavailable: Homer Bailey, Rookie Davis

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks has not been himself lately, walking nine batters over his last three games and reaching 6.0 innings pitched just once in his past five games. Hopefully, he’s simply going through a bit of a mediocre stretch (and let’s be clear, it’s not terrible), because the Cubs need him to be sharp down the stretch.

Cubs Player: Javy Baez recorded three extra-base hits in yesterday’s finale against the Dodgers and is now hitting .266/.305/.532 on the year. He had hit a bit of a rough patch there for a moment, but is now riding a three-game hit streak and sure seems to be heating up. Also, he’s still stealing bases like crazy. His 13 swiped bags is tied with Mike Trout.

Reds Pitcher: Matt Harvey will face the Cubs this series, and although he may not be as bad as he was with the Mets, the Reds experiment hasn’t quite gone according to plan (20 earned runs in 35.1 IP equals a 5.09 ERA). The one thing he has done well in Cincinnati, however, is keep his command in check. With just a 6.8% walk rate through his 7 Reds starts, free passes have been hard to come by. Hopefully, the Cubs can just hit him around a bit, before he figures out the rest of his game.

Reds Player: Billy Hamilton is walking 11.1 % of the time which is a LOT higher than he ever has before, but … his OBP is still under .300, so he’s not really able to take full advantage of that speed. If you just keep him off the bases, and it hasn’t been really hard to do so, he’s not much of a threat.

Author: Michael Cerami

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