Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds Preview
Chicago just snapped a rough five-game losing streak with a win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. The Cubs are still just 11-14 on the year and sit in last place of the National League Central.
Cincinnati has not been much better as they are just 11-13 on the year. The Reds recently suffered through a miserable seven-game losing streak, but taking two out of three from the Dodgers should give them some momentum.
The Reds are slight favorites at -111 in the series opener against the Cubs.
Cubs Can’t Hit
The Cubs have some big names in their everyday lineup, but it has not led to much offense to begin the 2021 season. Chicago does have the ability to hit the ball out of the park, but the team is hitting just .213 as a team.
Kris Bryant is someone that the Reds will have to watch out for this weekend as it appears that he has returned to his MVP form of 2016. Bryant leads the Cubs with a .310 batting average and has a history of hitting the ball well in Cincinnati.
Jake Arrieta is back with the Cubs this season, and he will be on the mound in the series opener. Arrieta has gone 3-2 with a 2.57 earned run average, and he can be extremely tough to hit when he is pitching well.
Cincinnati Can’t Find Consistency
The Reds have been a hard team to figure out this season, but they have been really good at times. Cincinnati has scored 128 runs to begin the year, which is the second-highest total in baseball.
The outfield trio has led the way for the Reds, and that trend could continue as the season moves along. Jess Winker leads the team with a .377 batting average, while Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin have combined to hit 13 home runs.
Wade Miley takes the ball for the Reds Friday, and he has actually pitched well this season. Miley has gone 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA, and he will need to keep the ball in the park to slow down the Chicago Cubs.
Expect Plenty of Offense
The Cubs have a clear edge in the pitching matchup in this game with Arrieta on the mound, but the Reds can score on anyone. Chicago has not been a great offensive team, but they will likely score plenty of runs on Miley.
Both teams come into this weekend having struggled of late, and that sets up for an interesting matchup in this series. These teams have built up a good rivalry in recent seasons, and that will add to the drama and intensity as well.
It might take at least six runs to win this game on Friday night, and the Reds will have to hope that they can sprinkle in some long balls if they want to win this game.
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