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.
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.
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]