Chicago Cubs (67-57 SU, 50-74 RL, 59-59-6 O/U) vs Cincinnati Reds (53-73 SU, 64-62 RL, 69-52-5 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Thursday, August 24, 2017
Where: Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio
Lines: Chicago Cubs -170/Cincinnati +155
Thursday evening MLB action and a pair of National League Central foes will square off as the Chicago Cubs rumble with the Cincinnati Reds in game three of their three-game series from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pitching Probables: Toeing the rubber for the Cubs in this one will be Jake Arrieta (13-8, 3.63 ERA) and he will be opposed by Sal Romano (3-5, 5.32 ERA).
Offense Explodes On Reds’ Pen
Last week, the Reds and Cubs hooked up in a four game series in Chicago and the final game of that series saw 23 runs scored as the Reds topped these Cubs by a score of 13-10. Well, Chicago got a measure of revenge in game one of this series as they won it by a score of 13-9. It was not easy as they trailed 3-0 and then 6-3, but they kept playing hard and scored nine runs between the 7th and 8th innings to put the game out of reach. The Cubs scored their 13 runs without the benefit of a homer, but they did have 13 hits in the game and were led by Jason Hayward, who had three of them, along with two RBIs. The Cubs look like they are putting it together at the right time as they have now won seven of their last nine games in a row to maintain their 2.5 game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central. The Cubs have gone 33-29 on the road for the year. Taking the hill for the Cubs in this one will be Jake Arrieta and he has gone 13-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts on the year, including 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three starts and 9-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 starts on the road. Arrieta has gone 16-8 with a 3.13 ERA in 28 starts during the month of August and he has gone 7-2 with a 3.32 ERA in nine career starts against the Reds, including 5-1 with a 4.14 ERA in six starts here at Great American Ballpark.
The Cubs have been a good offensive team so far as they come in ranked 7th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.92 rpg, while also ranking 20th in hitting at .251 and 10th in homers with 177. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in ERA at 4.05, while also ranking 10th in WHIP at 1.29.
The Bullpen Let’s The Reds Down In Game One
I think in the writeup for Tuesday’s game, I stated that the Reds had the worst pen in the league. Well, that’s not true as their pen is ranked 20th, but in game one of this series, it looked like the worst pen in the league. Homer Bailey got the start and pitched three shutout innings before leaving with a shoulder injury. The pen then had to take over and allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 12 hits and eight walks over the final six innings of the game. It was just a horrible display by the pen. Taking the loss was Wandy Peralta, who allowed three ERs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning. He is now 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA on the year. The Reds did score nine runs in the game and having a big game was Eugenio Suarez, who stroked two homers in the game, while driving in four runs and scoring three. He now has 23 longballs on the year. The Reds are now 20 games under .500 for the year and they have gone just 29-32 here at home so far. The Reds will trot out Sal Romano in this one and he has gone 3-5 with a 5.32 ERA in nine starts in this his first year in the league, including 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last three starts and 1-3 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts here at home. He has yet to face the Cubs in his career. Romano was 33-52 with a 4.32 ERA in 131 games (130 starts) in the minors in his career, including 1-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 starts at Louisville (AAA) this year.
Cincinnati has been a bit above average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 11th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.79 rpg, while also ranking 15th in hitting at .256 and 6th in homers with 181. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 30th in the league in ERA at 5.42, while also ranking 30th in WHIP at 1.47.
- 25-9 in Arrieta’s last 34 starts vs. the National League Central
- 10-2 in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a losing record
- 13-3 in their last 16 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- 7-19 in their last 26 during game three of a series
- 15-40 the last 55 games in this series
- 4-13 in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record
These teams have really been involved in wild games of late and the Reds have given the Cubs all sorts of problems lately. The Cubs still don’t look like the same team they were a year ago, but their offense has been hot of late and the Reds have shown while they are last in the league in ERA. Sal Romano has gone just 1-3 at home with a 6.63 ERA in four starts, while the Cubs will send out Jake Arrieta, who has gone 9-6 with a 3.86 ERA on the road, while in his last three starts overall, he is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA. The Cubs have a huge edge on the mound in this one and with their offense now averaging a whopping 7.20 rpg in their last 10 games, I just don’t see how the Reds keep this one close. Take the Cubs on the run-line.