Cubs @ Reds Series Preview (July 27-30): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitchers, Insights

After a four month delay to start the 2020 campaign, the Cubs made up for lost time by providing plenty of excitement in their opening series as they took two of three from the Brewers. Who they provided that excitement for was certainly an interesting talking point heading into the series, and all across baseball, as games at Wrigley were played with no fans at all. Despite the lack of faithful in person at The Friendly Confines, at least fans at home got to watch, thanks to an 11th hour deal by Comcast and the Marquee Network.

The Cubs got great pitching performances from Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood and saw the lineup produce all across the board at different junctures. If they keep getting contributions from up and down the lineup and quality starts in two out of three games, the Cubs should have no problem coasting to one of those 16 playoff spots this season.

Cincinnati has felt like a second home over the past few years, perhaps even more so than Milwaukee. Kris Bryant has had some of his biggest games there, Kyle Schwarber seems to love hitting close to his hometown, and the Cubs pile up runs frequently. Unfortunately, the Reds made tremendous strides last season and didn’t stop there, signing Mike Moustakas (who just went on the IL), Shogo Akiyama, and Nicholas Castellanos.

The Reds are a legitimate contender in the NL Central, despite the fact they just lost two of three this weekend to the Tigers. They still have Joey Votto, who looks reinvigorated after an extended respite as he’s tied with Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ for the lead league in home runs. Eugenio Suárez protects Votto, along with Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino, the latest addition to the Cubs Killers Club.

The Cubs will miss Trevor Bauer this time around but will see Sonny Gray on Wednesday, fresh off his stellar effort Friday night. Luis Castillo, who posted 11 strikeouts in his season debut, will go in Tuesday’s contest. Old pal Wade Miley goes on Monday, so it’ll be interesting to see whether and how David Ross alters the lineup against the first lefty starter the Cubs have faced.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Monday, July 27 at 5:40 CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Tuesday, July 28 at 5:40 CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Wednesday, July 29 at 5:40 CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Thursday, July 30 at 5:10 CT on Marquee Sports Network

Starting Pitchers

(2019 stats displayed)

Date Pitcher Age T W/L ERA FIP K/BB
7/27 Jon Lester 36 L 13-10 4.46 4.26 3.17
Wade Miley 33 L 14-6 3.98 4.51 2.30
7/28 Alec Mills 28 R 1-0 2.75 4.19 3.82
Tyler Mahle 25 R 3-12 5.14 4.66 3.79
7/29 Kyle Hendricks 30 R 11-10 3.46 3.61 4.69
Sonny Gray 30 R 11-8 2.87 3.42 3.01
7/30 Yu Darvish 33 R 6-8 3.98 4.18 4.09
Luis Castillo 27 R 15-8 3.40 3.70 2.86

What to Watch For

  • Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras murdering balls. Expect more of that as both look pretty locked in.
  • Great American Ball Park is a bandbox, so look for some serious runs in this series, especially the first couple games if the bullpens are part of the equation.
  • How does Hendricks improve on Friday night? A no-hitter on Wednesday.
  • Anthony Rizzo looks to be just fine after some back spasms in camp. Home runs tend to do that.
  • Can Chatwood put together back-to-back quality starts?
  • Will the lineup stay the same? It should. Nico Hoerner, Ian Happ, and Victor Caratini have got to keep playing.
  • Can Alec Mills make the most of his opportunity as a member of the rotation?
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