The Chicago Cubs (94-55) will be anxious to move on after dropping their last series, losing 3-of-4 at Wrigley Field to the Brewers. They’ve been fortunate to land the Cincinnati Reds as their next opponent for a three-game series at home.
The Cubs have a 10-3 record this year against the Reds. But, before I get too ahead of myself, I’ll remind everyone that the Cubs also had a 10-5 record against the Brewers going into that series so…I guess anything is possible in this series. Hopefully it plays out the way it should.
It may surprise you to find out that the Reds have a 31-29 record in the second half of the season. My point there is that they should not be overlooked as a team that could sneak away with a couple wins against the Cubs over the next three days.
Game times and broadcast info
- Monday, September 19, 7:05 PM CT on CSN
- Tuesday, September 20, 7:05 PM CT on CSN
- Wednesday, September 21, 7:05 PM CT on WGN
What to watch for
- The Cubs are 9-8 in September. What’s interesting is that of the five series they’ve played so far this month, they’ve won all but two of them. The two they’ve dropped have been to the Milwaukee Brewers. So, when you look at it that way, the Cubs are 7-3 against all teams except the Brewers, who they’re 2-5 against.
- Mike Montgomery is out of the rotation for this series. He’d normally have been pitching in Wednesday’s game if the rotation order was being followed. So, that may mean that Joe is moving him back to the bullpen or it may just be that he’s swapping him and Lackey. We’ll see. Either way, Montgomery has been ultra-valuable for the Cubs in his role as the sixth starter over the last month. His outstanding performance has allowed the regular starters some nice rest during the regular season which should bode well come playoff time.
- Jason Heyward is making progress lately on the offensive side of his game. Over the last five games he slashing a quite respectable .353/.450/.470 and that’s good enough for him to be tied for the team lead in fWAR at .3 over that period. True, it’s only five games but with the season that Jason’s had at the plate, any morsel of good news deserves mentioning. If he can get his bat going here in the final month of the season that could be extremely valuable for the Cubs come playoff time.
- On the other end of the spectrum, Javy Baez has been mired in a bit of a slow down at the plate. Over the last month, he’s slashing a paltry .228/.271/.304. It seems like Javy just needs to slow things down a bit and concentrate on making good contact with the ball. He’s had some pretty soft contact over the last month, with 75% of his contact in the soft and medium ranges, which has led to a 19% line drive rate. If he focuses on making good contact that will all change.