Sunday afternoon Major League Baseball action and a pair of teams from the National League Central will square off as the Chicago Cubs duke it out with the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of their four-game set from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds took game one by a score of 6-3. Pitching Probables: Taking the hill for the Cubs will be Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 3.95 ERA) and he will be opposed by Sal Romano (4-7, 5.18 ERA).
Cubs Can’t Slow Down The Reds
That is not a statement that has been made all that often this year as the Reds have been one of the worst teams in the league, but they have been playing much better of late and the Cubs just couldn’t slow them down as they fell by a score of 6-3 in the opener of this series. The Cubs, on the other hand, have been struggling a bit of late as they have now lost six of their last 10 games, but are still just 2.0 games out of first in the National League. The Cubs did have a 3-1 lead in the 4th inning against the Reds, but Cincy scored three in the bottom of the 5th to go ahead for good. Jose Quintana took the loss after allowing four ERs on nine hits and two walks while striking out three in 5.0 innings of work. He is now 6-6 with a 4.26 ERA on the year. Kyle Schwarber provided most of the offense for the Cubs with a two-run homer in the 4th. He now has gone deep 15 times on the year. The Cubs have averaged 4.95 rpg and have allowed 3/26 rpg on the road for the year.
Taking the hill for the Cubs in this one will be Tyler Chatwood and he has gone 3-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 14 starts on the year, including 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in six starts on the road. In his career, he has gone 22-19 with a 3.32 ERA in 68 games (60 starts) on the road and 7-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 23 games (22 starst0 during the month of June, plus 18-11 with a 3.28 ERA in 49 games (46 starts) in the daytime, while against the Reds he has gone 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in five starts, including 0-2 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts here at Great American Ballpark.
The Cubs have been a very solid offensive team in the early going as they come in ranked 6th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.81 rpg, while also ranking 5th in hitting at .257 and 23rd in homers with 75. On the mound, they have been very good as they come in ranked 2nd in the league in ERA at 3.21, while also ranking 13th in WHIP at 1.27 and 19th in K’s with 621. The pen for the Cubs ranks 5th in the league with a 2.80 ERA.
Reds Stay Hot With Big Win Over The Cubs
Can the Reds get back in the race for a playoff spot? Probably not, but they have been playing very well of late as they will enter their game on Saturday having won five in a row and eight of their last 10. Despite that solid stretch of play, the Reds are still 15 games out of first in the National League Central and 11 games out of a Wildcard spot. Still, they are making things interesting at the moment and have now outscored their opponents 56-32 over that 10-game stretch. The Reds got a decent outing from Luis Castillo, who allowed three ERs on four hits and a walk while striking out five in 5.2 innings of work. He is now 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA on the year, while Raisel Iglesias picked up his 12th save. Eugenio Suarez had a big game with three hits, including his 16th dinger of the year, while driving in two runs. Joey Votto also had a nice game with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. The Reds have averaged 4.39 rpg and have allowed 5.26 rpg here at Great American Ballpark this year.
The Reds will be sending out Sal Romano in this one and he has gone 4-7 with a 5/18 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 15 starts on the year, including 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in eight starts here at home. In his career, he has gone 6-7 with a 4.67 ERA in 16 starts here at Great American Ballpark and 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts in June, plus 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 day starts, while against the Cubbies he has gone 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts.
Cincinnati has been below average on offense so far as they rank 18th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.36 rpg, while also ranking 7th in hitting at .254 and 20th in homers with 76. On the mound, they have been poor in the early going as they come in ranked 26th in the league in ERA at 4.80, while also ranking 27th in WHIP at 1.43 and 24th in K’s with 575. The pen is ranked 18th in the league with a 4.05 ERA.
- 26-9 in their last 36 during game four of a series
- 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- 11-23 in their last 34 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- 8-21 in their last 29 vs. the National League Central
The Reds are hot, while the Cubs have been heading the other way, but I see the Cubs coming up with a much needed win in this one Tyler Chatwood is just 1-2 on the road this year, but with a 3.41 ERA and while he is 0-2 in the park in his career, he has a 1.80 in his two starts here. The Cubs have struggled on offense of late, but they scored seven ERs in a 10-0 win over Castillo in this park earlier in the year and that offense should come alive in this one. Chicago really needs this game and I feel they have the edge on the mound and the confidence on offense after ripping Castillo earlier in the year. Take Chicago and the clincher is the fact that they are 46-21 in their last 67 games in this series.