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Series Preview: Cubs vs. Reds

Written by , Posted in General

I for one am glad to see the Brewers leave town, they were pesky and offensively were hitting on all cylinders. Now the Cubs are off to Cincinnati for a 3 games weekend series with the NL Central Division Leading Reds.

Coming in HOT

Ok, so maybe not that hot, but the Cubs stole 2 out of 3 from the Brewers in come from behind fashion to win another series on the year. So far the Cubs have won 4 series and been swept by the Pirates, the sweep was ugly, but other than that, not a terrible start.

8-7 isn’t a great early record, especially when they didn’t have their 7th loss last year until May 11th, but all things considering (Cardinals really slow start and Starling Marte suspended for 80 games), there is still no question that this is the Cubs’ division to lose.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1

Jon Lester vs. Tim Adleman, 6:10 PM (CST)

Lester is coming off his best start of the early season going 7 strong innings in a no decision against the Pirates. For the season he has a 1.00 ERA with 17 Ks in 18 innings. Last season he was 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA against the Reds and held them to a WHIP of 0.98.

Adleman on the other has had just one start so far this year with only 4 innings of work and a 2.25 ERA. Last year he was decent against the Cubs to the tune of a 1-0 record with a 3.97 ERA in 11.1 innings which saw him strikeout 9 while only walking 2.

Game 2

Jake Arrieta vs. Cody Reed, 12:10 PM (CST)

When Arrieta takes the mound on Saturday, it will be exactly one year and one day since he thew his 2nd no-hitter against this very team in this very stadium. Jake has looked very solid so far this season with a 2-0 record and a 2.89 ERA with a WHIP of 0.91. Last season, Arrieta held the Reds to a .087 AVG and an OPS of .410.

Cody Reed is getting the start in game two and it is his first start of the year, though he has appeared in 4 games a reliever so far. He has been very impressive so far though with 8 shutout innings and a WHIP of 0.50. Last year, the Cubs hit him very well, with a combined .350 AVG and an OPS of 1.197 with 5 HRs.

Game 3

John Lackey vs. Bronson Arroyo, 12:10 PM (CST)

John Lackey hasn’t been overly impressive thus far with him struggling early in the games then battling the rest of the way to make it through 6 innings in each of his 3 starts. He has given up 4 HRs so far and hopefully he can get a good start going against the Reds from beginning to end.

Bronson Arroyo is back to pitching after missing the past 2 seasons due to injury. He isn’t really setting the world on fire though with a 1-2 record and an 8.40 ERA, giving up 5 HRs while walking 5 in 15 innings. He is primed to get rocked (hopefully) by the Cubs.

Keys to the Series

On paper, the Cubs should win all 3 games handily, with huge advantages in starting pitching for all 3 games, but as they say, that is why you play the games. They will need to have their normal patience and get ahead in counts and see what kind of good pitches they can get.

Pick to Click

I know Jeff Ragauskis picked him last series, but he still makes sense for this series; Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber seems to love hitting in Cincinnati, near his home town and I think he goes off this weekend after getting a breather yesterday.

  • Buddy

    Sweeping any team on the road is a tall order, but I think the Cubs have a good shot at two out of three. It will be interesting, and maybe painful, to watch the Reds running game vs. Jon Lester.

    • It’s a love hate thing. I love watching Jon Lester pitch. I hate watching Jon Lester pitch with runners on base.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Lizzie, I hope we are on speaking terms again. I actually love watching the running game against Lester. It’s weird, but fascinating. Contreras is doing OK so far.

      • Oh we’re fine Brad, don’t ever worry about that. That’s actually the beauty of VFTB. We can argue up a storm and then it just goes away. Like a family of sorts. Except that we don’t have to see each other on Thanksgiving.

        I see your point about Lester. Like a train wreck. Can’t look away! Still I think I will go the XM route tonight!!

  • Brad Lyerla

    My pick to click is Bryant. He hit especially well against Cincy last year.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Didn’t have 2 jacks in the no-hitter in addition to the game where he went 5-5, 3 jacks, 16 bases?

      • Brad Lyerla

        Yep

  • Bryzzo1744

    I predict Schwarber will have 7 round trippers this weekend.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      He will need them if he plans on getting back on the 83 Jack pace.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Exactly why I predict 7 jacks. But not for 83. He’s going to hit 104.

      • Dork

        is it just me or does this seem to be getting tired?

      • Classic Caps. Takes something that was originally funny (maybe) and beats us to death with it until we cringe at every mention. Millions and millions of mentions …… sigh.

      • Seymour Butts

        We can score that one a (direct) hit.

    • Adam Peters

      He needs 8 to get back on pace for 89. But 7 would be a good step forward.

  • Dork

    Adelman Reed and Arroyo – it may be difficult to sweep a team on the road and the cubs might not win a game but that trio strikes no fear.

    • Buddy

      Agreed. Those three aren’t exactly Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine! If it came down to only a battle of starting pitchers, a sweep would be much more likely.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Does Arroyo still have that ridiculous leg kick?

    • Bartz

      I’d bet he does. Hopefully the hair is gone!

    • dancing the can can…