After going 3-3 on their final West-Coast road trip, the Cubs return to Wrigley to battle the last-place Cincinnati Reds. This four-game set kicks off a stretch of 24 straight games against teams with a losing record. While that seems tantalizing, just remember: Games that look easy on paper often aren’t.
The Reds are very much still in the middle of a rebuilding project. Their starting pitchers’ ERA has gone down, but still is dead last at 5.98. They have cycled through young arms in the rotation, although Scott Feldman remains the de facto staff ace.
Joey Votto continues his Andre Dawson-esque monster season on a bad team, hitting .314 with 31 homers and 83 RBI, which puts him on pace for 43 homers and 114 RBI. Despite a low batting average, Scott Schebler has 23 bombs and is in range of a 30-homer season.
The Cubs have a chance to take advantage of a weak slate of opponents and go on a run. The key, as we’ve all been saying since April, will be executing. If they play up to their capabilities, they should do quite well these four games. Of course, that is always a big if.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, August 14 at 7:05 CT on WGN
- Tuesday, August 15 at 7:05 CT on CSN-C
- Wednesday, August 16 at 7:05 CT on WGN
- Thursday, August 17 at 1:20 CT on CSN-C
What To Watch For
- Kris Bryant reached base a total of 13 times, including nine hits, over the three games in Arizona. It appeared his hand injury had sapped his power, but he hit a long homer on Sunday.
- Javy Baez had the big blow in Sunday’s win, but he also had five hits in the series. A new Javy hot streak would be a big help for a short-handed offense.
- Homer Bailey has not been good since returning from offseason elbow surgery. His 5.85 FIP indicates maybe he isn’t as bad as his 8.31 ERA would indicate, but that is not good on it’s own.
- Ian Happ has struggled all second half, though-he does have four hits his last 12 at bats. So maybe, just maybe, could he be getting it going?