After losing two out of three games to the Atlanta Braves prior to Thursday’s postponement, the Cubs head to Cincinnati for a four-game series at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs currently sit at 22-18, 2.5 games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Central. This series against the Reds presents an opportunity for the Cubs to get things figured out and close the gap in the division.
Two of the Cubs’ star acquisitions over the last year, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish, are off to rough starts to the season with ERAs of 5.23 and 5.56. This duo’s production to this point hasn’t been consistent at all, but their success is going to be key for the Cubs. Each will get a start this weekend and it would be a huge boost for the rotation if they return to form.
The Reds have a record of 15-29 and currently sit in the cellar of the NL Central, but have won seven out of their last nine games. Scooter Gennett (.327, 7 HR) and Joey Votto (.289, 6 HR) led the Reds offense and will need to be slowed down if the Cubs are to win this series on the road. Eugenio Suarez (.297 with 7 HR) is questionable for the series with a right ankle injury suffered on Tuesday, but could play a big role if he returns.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, May 18 at 6:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Saturday, May 19 at 12:10 CT on WGN
- Saturday, May 19 at 6:10 CT on WGN
- Sunday, May 20 at 12:10 CT on ABC-7
Starting Pitchers (2018 Stats)
What To Watch For
- After showing some promise that his slump was over, Anthony Rizzo has gone 2-of-18 over the last seven games and his batting average has dropped to .195 on the season. The Reds’ subpar pitching should present some opportunities for Rizzo to shake off the slump.
- Javy Baez has struggled for the first time all season and is only hitting .160 over the last week. It’s too early to worry, but a bounceback weekend would be nice.
- Darvish was pulled in the 5th inning of his first start off the DL with cramping in his calf. It’ll be interesting to see if that lingers in his start in the series finale on Sunday.
- Carl Edwards Jr. has been roughed up for seven earned runs his last three outings, good for a 31.50 ERA. Maybe the over-reliance on the bullpen is finally catching up with the Cubs. Even if that’s not the case, it’d be good to see the starters put in some long games.