Cincinnati Reds: Previewing the upcoming series with Cubbies Crib

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds forces Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs in the 7th inning at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds forces Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs in the 7th inning at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Blog Red Machine sat down with our counterpart in the Windy City, Cubbies Crib, to discuss the upcoming series between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

Q: Who is an under-the-radar player that Cincinnati Reds fans should keep an eye on during the series?

A: Not sure if he constitutes under-the-radar at this point, but David Bote is making a name for himself on the North Side. With Bryant sidelined, he’s stepped up and has shown to have that ‘clutch’ gene – at least in the interim.

He’s been mired in a bit of a slump lately, but hopefully, his home run on Wednesday in Detroit can get him headed back in the right direction. 

Q: What do you expect from the newly acquired Daniel Murphy?

A: I anticipate seeing a lot of ‘professional’ at-bats. This guy knows how to cause damage (as Cubs fans know all too well). He’s been raking since the Break, so with the offense scuffling in August, he should be a huge shot in the arm – especially since his addition means Addison Russell won’t be trotted out every day.

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Q: Who is the one player you expect to help lead this Cubs team into the final month of the season?

A: Anthony Rizzo. This guy has ‘it’. After a horrendous start to the season, he cranked it up and, with, a strong September, has a shot at another 30-homer, 100-RBI campaign.

There’s no doubt he’s the leader of this team and if he gets the boys fired up, they should pick up a third consecutive NL Central crown. 

Q: The Cincinnati Reds will send three of their best starting pitchers to the mound during the series. Which pitcher do you expect to give the Cubs the most problems?

A:  Knowing this team, it’ll be Matt Harvey, A guy we should, in theory, handle well – but you know how that works. I like Anthony DeSclafani a lot – but, lord, I just hope we don’t get shut down by Homer Bailey. Fingers crossed on that one.

Next. Peraza having a career year

Q: What’s your prediction for the series?

A: Cubs take three-of-four. I think the offense will start to find a rhythm behind Daniel Murphy and, if the starting pitching continues to pull its weight, this is one of those series Chicago should win. Then again, with a sub-.500 mark against the Cincinnati Reds this year, maybe I’ll wind up eating crow come Monday.