Reds vs. Cubs: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Eugenio Suarez, #7 of the Cincinnati Reds, kicks his helmet after his fly out during the fifth inning.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 30: Eugenio Suarez, #7 of the Cincinnati Reds, kicks his helmet after his fly out during the fifth inning. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Reds host the Cubs for a pivotal series to close the homestand.

It was a tall order, throwing a pair of rookies during their first month in the big leagues at a powerful San Diego Padres lineup, and really, to no one’s surprise, both Cincinnati Reds‘ starters (Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez) were walloped by the Friars.

Thankfully, the Reds (40-40) will not have to face the Padres again this season. Mercifully, Cincinnati has only one remaining series, a September date at Great American Ball Park versus the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, against a National League West squad. Unfortunately, the Reds’ woeful 10-20 mark versus the NL West is a direct contributor to their mediocre standing.

However, all is not lost. Seven of the Redlegs’ 10 games to close out the first half of the 2021 season are against NL Central rivals, where the team has thrived. Cincinnati is a sparkling 19-12 in division play, and they will need every bit of that good mojo with the Cubbies arriving in the Queen City in a nasty mood.

Chicago (42-39) has dropped six in a row, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Brewers in Milwaukee. To add a little salt in the North Siders’ wounds, the Beer Makers outscored them 31-14 during the series.

Getting smacked around on the road is nothing new for Chicago. Once they leave the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, the Cubs go into hibernation. Entering play this evening, the Cubbies are an abysmal 16-26 outside the Windy City.

This will be the second of three showdowns between the division rivals at GABP this season. Cincinnati took two of three in early May, and since 2018, the Reds hold a commanding 17-12 advantage in the Queen City over the Cubs.