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

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

Chicago Cubs

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

Author: Michael Cerami

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