In the first of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (74-55) and the Cincinnati Reds (53-76) at Wrigley Field, Kyle Hendricks (6-6, 4.11 ERA) and Michael Lorenzen (3-8, 5.46 ERA) get the start. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 31 and will air on CSCh and FSOH.
In his last start, Hendricks pitched 6.0 innings, allowing four runs, striking out six and walking three in a 4-2 loss to the Giants. Anthony Rizzo (.284, 73 Rs, 26 HRs, 78 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. The Reds were also unsuccessful the last time Lorenzen pitched. He did not do well, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs, striking out one and walking two in an 11-6 loss to the Padres. Joey Votto (.312, 76 Rs, 25 HRs, 65 RBIs, 8 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Reds, going 2 for 3 yesterday.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. Against teams in the NL Central, the Cubs have an SU record of 29-22. They have been very patient at the plate, leading the NL with an average of 3.4 walks per game. Chicago's pitching staff can be considered one of the best in the NL. The Cubs have a team ERA of 3.57, one of the lowest in their league. The Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP.
Against divisional opponents, the Reds are 23-28 SU. Cincinnati is a terror on the base paths, with an MLB-best 116 stolen bases. Cincinnati's pitching staff has allowed an average of 5.7 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.5. They also average just 8.1 hits allowed per road game, third-best in the NL.
The Cubs have gotten the best of the Reds in head-to-head matchups this season, going 9-4. This game will feature Lorenzen (LHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 15-13 record when they take on a left-handed starter. The right-handed Hendricks will take the mound against the Reds, who have a 41-57 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
The Cubs are 29-22 against their divisional rivals, while the Reds are 23-28 against their division.
When leading after 7 innings, Chicago is 29-22, while Cincinnati is 18-29.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Reds are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cubs have a 29-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 41-16. The Cubs have a 47-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 25th, Cincinnati sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 505 this season. Chicago ranks in the bottom half at 19th with 527.
Ranking seventh, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 401 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 442.
The Cubs are 50-23 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Reds are 45-35 when they hit at least one homer.