Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, May 23 - May 26, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Reds, May 23 – May 26, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Well, it was a bummer of a series at Wrigley Field this weekend, with the Cubs dropping three of four to the Diamondbacks, erasing any semblance of the momentum gained in the three series prior. But the Cubs are now off to Cincinnati, where it’s always fun to hit, to face the worst team in MLB, the Reds. Unfortunately, the Cubs will likely still play this entire series without Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, and Willson Contreras.

After this series, the Cubs will have an off-day (Friday), before playing 11 games in 9 days against the White Sox, Brewers, and Cardinals. Hopefully, the Cubs can go into that stretch after a nice, long series win in Cincinnati.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (16-24) lost some momentum with their series loss at home against the Diamondbacks. They had won three straight series going into that one. Bummer.

The Cincinnati Reds (12-28) are the worst team in baseball, but they’ve won 6 of their last 10 and are just four games behind the Cubs.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Seiya Suzuki hasn’t had a multi-hit game since April 27, and he’s been about 5% worse than the league average hitter in May. He does have five doubles and a triple this month in 50 PAs, but that’s including a .393 BABIP and a 36% strikeout rate.

In his last 52 PAs, Ian Happ is slashing .295/.385/.432 (133 wRC+) with a 13.5% walk rate and a 15.4% strikeout rate. He’s just an entirely different hitter this season. It’s kinda wild.

We’re going to see a lot more Yan Gomes in the coming days, and maybe that’s okay. Since May 9, the Cubs backup catcher has 10 hits including two doubles and a homer in 28 PAs (152 wRC+). That’s not who he is, and he’s been able to be deployed selectively/to his advantage, but it’s nice to see nonetheless.

Tyler Naquin is the hot Reds hitter at the moment, slashing .364/.404/.659 (193 wRC+) over his last ~50 PAs. Joey Votto, by contrast, is having a horrible year (51 wRC+).

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Monday, May 23 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score,
•   Tuesday, May 24 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, May 25 at 5:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Thursday, May 26 at 11:35 on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Drew Smyly (L) vs. Vladimir Gutierrez (R)
Game 2: Marcus Stroman (R) vs. Tyler Mahle (R)
Game 3: Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. Luis Castillo (R)
Game 4: Justin Steele (L) vs. Hunter Greene (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Yan Gomes
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Jonathan Villar
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Andrelton Simmons
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, Michael Hermosillo, Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, Sean Newcomb, Michael Rucker, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer

Cincinnati Reds

•   C – Tyler Stephenson
•   1B – Joey Votto
•   2B – Matt Reynolds
•   3B – Tyler Motter
•   SS – Kyle Farmer
•   LF – Tommy Pham
•   CF – TJ Friedl
•   RF – Tyler Naquin
•   DH – Mike Moustakas

Unavailable: Nick Senzel, Mike Minor, Jose Barrero, Donovan Solano, Justin Wilson, Nick Lodolo, Jonathan India, Jake Fraley, Lucas Sims, Justin Dunn, Tejay Antone, Max Schrock, Daniel Duarte

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -2
Reds: -64

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.15
Reds: 3.88

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.20
Reds: 5.48

Author: Michael Cerami

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