RC+ Preview: Reds vs. Cubs (August 8) – The Start of a Crucial Series

RC+ Preview: Reds vs. Cubs (August 8) – The Start of a Crucial Series

Tonight marks the start of a potentially pivotal series for the Reds (54-58) as they look to stay in the playoff hunt. The first-place Cubs are coming to town for four games, presenting a golden opportunity for a Cincinnati team that sits seven games back in the NL Central and four games back in the Wild Card. The Reds enter the series with a 7.2% chance of making the playoffs, according to FanGraphs.

First pitch of the series opener on Thursday is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Pitching Matchup

Alex Wood takes the mound after a strong performance in his second start of the year. The southpaw tossed 6.2 innings of two-run baseball in his last outing, a win over the Braves. Despite boasting solid control, home runs have been a problem for Wood through two starts, and it’s not surprising with that ground-ball rate. He’ll have his work cut out for him against a Cubs lineup with a lot of pop.

Cole Hamels takes the mound for a second time since being activated from the injured list. He injured his oblique in a start against the Reds on June 28 and missed just over a month of action. In his return to action on Saturday, Hamels threw five shutout innings.

Batting Order

Per usual, the Reds are going with a righty-heavy matchup with a left-handed starter on the mound. No Jesse Winker or Josh VanMeter tonight. The Cubs followed suit as Reds killer Kyle Schwarber is on the bench.

[Graphic: Baseball Press]

Cubs Hitter Stats

Reds Hitter Stats

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Matt Wilkes

Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

5 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso says:

    Happ has hit a couple homers since his call-up and I don’t know if the Reds have ever gotten him out at GABP.

  2. Matt Wilkes says:

    Ugly, ugly game for Peraza so far.

  3. Matt Wilkes says:

    Alex Wood’s changeup has been brutal tonight. Put in play six times for an average exit velocity of 99.4 mph.

  4. Matt Wilkes says:

    Aristides Aquino tonight:

    118.3 mph home run — hardest-hit ball by a Red in the Statcast era and tied for the fourth-hardest hit in MLB this season
    101.5 mph throw from right field — hardest tracked throw of any outfielder in MLB this season.

    Not a bad night so far.

  5. Steve Mancuso says:

    Bad time for the pitching to hit a bump.