The Cubs competed a sweep of the Blue Jays to finish a productive 5-2 homestand. Now they go out on the road for six games against two last-place teams, the Reds and Phillies. This could be an opportunity for the Northsiders' to grow their NL Central lead.
The next three games are in Cincinnati against the team they just split a four-game series with last week in Chicago. As was made plain in that series, the Reds lineup is a very potent one. Young hitters, Phillip Ervin and Jesse Winker added even more danger to a stacked batting order.
The Reds pitching was every bit as bad as the numbers indicated it would be. Scott Feldman had to go back on the disabled list after his rough start Thursday. Luis Castillo, the one starter that gave the Cubs fits, will not pitch in this series, which should help Chicago.
Tuesday: 6:10 pm CT MLB-Network/WGN/670AM
Wednesday: 6:10 pm CT CSN-C/670AM
Thursday: 6:10 pm CT CSN-C/670AM
1. Jon Jay (CF)
2.Kyle Schwarber (LF)
3.Kris Bryant (3B)
4. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
5. Ian Happ (2B)
6. Alex Avila (C)
7. Jason Heyward (RF)
8. Javier Baez (SS)
9. John Lackey (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scooter Gennette (2B)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Scott Schebler (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Homer Bailey (P)
via Baseball Press.
Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.
Homer Bailey: His fourseam fastball results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action and has essentially average velo. His slider is much harder than usual, has less than expected depth, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His splitter is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' splitters and is slightly firmer than usual. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His curve results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has little depth.
Sean's Note: The Cubs jumped all over Homer to start the game last Wednesday. The first three men reached before Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Bailey pitched decently after that, only allowing 2 runs the next 5 innings.
Asher Wojciechowski: His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo. His slider sweeps across the zone, has below average velo, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has some two-plane movement. His change has a lot of backspin and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.
Sean's Note: After giving up seven runs in the Cubs romp last Monday, Wojciechowski was moved to the bullpen. With Feldman's injury he has gone back into the rotation for Wednesday's start.
Sal Romano: His fourseam fastball has well above average velo and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His slider results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, is much harder than usual and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change is thrown extremely hard, has surprising cut action, has a lot of backspin and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.
Sean's Note: The hard-throwing Romano has made nine starts for the Reds this season. His 5.32 ERA is higher than his 4.86 FIP so he may have had some bad luck. He has a fairly high ground ball rate so the double play risk is relatively high.
This is a good opportunity for the Cubs, the Brewers have a tough schedule and the Cardinals have a ten-game road trip ahead. Of course last week they could only manage a split with this same Reds team. Chicago has always hit well at Great American Ball Park they need to keep that up.
Mike Montgomery goes into the rotation to replace the injured Jon Lester. Monty was not as good as a starter as he is out of the pen, but he was solid. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo love Reds pitching, look for them to have another big series this week.