Series Preview: Reds at Cubs, June 28 – June 30, 2022

With Nick Madrigal and Seiya Suzuki both still on the shelf, and Brennen Davis out for the year, there’s not quite as much to look forward to each day in terms of learning about the Cubs potential impact pieces as I think I expected there would be in late June.

But that’s precisely why I love seeing the names of Keegan Thompson and Justin Steele penciled in next to each other for a given series. They’re success is damn-near mission critical to this rebuild, which gives us a very good reason to tune into the game, when dropping out is otherwise all too easy.

In any case, the Cubs are back at Wrigley Field today, for the first of a six-game homestand against the Reds and Red Sox. After that, they’ll go on a seven-game road trip to Milwaukee and Los Angeles, hit they’re final scheduled off-day before the All-Star Break, and play six games at Wrigley Field before the Midsummer Classic.

Then, the trades will start.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (28-45) and the Cincinnati Reds (25-48) are two of the worst teams in baseball, but they both just won a series against a contender this past weekend (Cardinals for the Cubs and Giants for the Reds). Of course, the Reds dropped seven-straight before that, and the Cubs lose far more than they win, but who’s counting?

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Keegan Thompson has strung together back-to-back excellent starts against the Braves and Pirates (combined): 12.0 IP, 6H, 1ER, 3BB, 16Ks. If he’s figured something out … hoooo boy. That would be very good news. Brett talked more about what worked right here, if you’re interested. And I’m sure we’ll get back into all of it tomorrow.

The strikeouts have begun to pile up for Christopher Morel, who’s got a 35.4 K% over his last 99 plate appearances.

After a mini-slump (0-15, 2BBs), Willson Contreras has four hits over his last three games, including a double and two walks. He’s still slashing .268/.383/.494 (147 wRC+) overall, as the best hitting catcher in the NL.

Albert Almora Jr. will be playing right field against the Cubs this week, and he’s actually having his best offensive season since 2017: .267/.281/.435 (92 wRC+).

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Tuesday, June 28 at 7:05 CT on Apple TV+, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, June 29 at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, June 30 at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Pitching Probables

    Game 1: Luis Castillo (RHP) vs. Keegan Thompson (RHP)
    Game 2: Shane Greene (RHP) vs. Justin Steele (LHP)
    Game 3: Graham Ashcraft (RHP) vs. Kyle Hendricks (RHP_

    Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas
  • 2B – Jonathan Villar
  • 3B – Patrick Wisdom
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Christopher Morel
  • RF – Jason Heyward
  • DH – Rafael Ortega
  • Injured/Unavailable: Michael Hermosillo, Seiya Suzuki, Nick Madrigal, Frank Schwindel, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Daniel Norris, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan Roberts

    Cincinnati Reds:

  • C – Aramis Garcia
  • 1B – Joey Votto
  • 2B – Jonathan India
  • 3B – Brandon Drury
  • SS – Kyle Farmer
  • LF – Tommy Pham
  • CF – Nick Senzel
  • RF – Albert Almora Jr.
  • DH – Mike Moustakas
  • Injured/Unavailable: Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Naquin, Aristides Aquino, Vladimir Gutierrez, Tony Santillan, Alexis Diaz, Justin Dunn, Tejay Antone, Daniel Duarte, Nick Lodolo, Jake Fraley, Lucas Sims, Connor Overton, Justin Wilson

    By the Numbers

    Run Differential:
    Cubs: -77
    Reds: -77

    Runs Scored Per Game:
    Cubs: 4.25
    Reds: 4.36

    Runs Allowed Per Game:
    Cubs: 5.30
    Reds: 5.43

    written by

    Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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