Preview: Cubs at Reds
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[August 22, 2017]
The Chicago Cubs haven't been able to gain much separation in the
tight National League Central race, but they have an opportunity to
do so when they begin a three-game road series against the
last-place Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. The Cubs enter the series
with a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central after
sweeping a three-game series from visiting Toronto over the weekend.
Chicago has a golden opportunity to pad its lead with a six-game
road trip to Cincinnati and Philadelphia - both last-place teams.
"It's that time of year, sink or swim now," Cubs first baseman
Anthony Rizzo told reporters. "We've got to just keep going and play
clean baseball. I think we are." The Reds have played better of
late, winning four of their last six and splitting a four-game
series in Chicago last week. The Cubs lead the season series 8-5,
and the teams have split six contests in Cincinnati.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, WGN (Chicago), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH John Lackey (10-9, 4.67 ERA) vs. Reds RH
Homer Bailey (4-6, 8.44)
Lackey is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts since the All-Star
break. The 38-year-old pitched well enough to win against the Reds
last week in Chicago, allowing one run and four hits over six
innings, but didn't get a decision. Lackey is 6-5 with a 3.75 ERA in
16 starts against Cincinnati.
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Bailey has had a wild ride the past six weeks, allowing six or more
runs and two or fewer runs in an alternating pattern over his last
eight outings. The 31-year-old was tagged for six runs and seven
hits in 5 2/3 innings at Chicago on Wednesday, so he's due for a
bounce-back performance. Bailey is 8-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 17 starts
against the Cubs.
1. Rizzo was named NL Player of the Week on Monday after batting
.429 with two homers and 13 RBIs last week.
2. Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez is 7-for-20 with a homer and five RBIs
during a six-game hitting streak.
3. Cubs LF Kyle Schwarber is batting .267 with eight home runs, five
doubles and 12 RBIs in 35 games since being recalled from Triple-A
PREDICTION: Cubs 7, Reds 4
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