Reds looking to overtake slumping Cubs in the National League Central Division standings

Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez. / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds (53-79) begin a three-game set with the Chicago Cubs (56-78) tonight in the Windy City with third-place in the National League Central Division on the line. The Cubs are just one game up in the loss column in and two games clear of the Reds in the division.

The 2022 season has been one that both the Reds and Cubs hope to put in the rearview mirror. Cincinnati's rebuild began for the season started and the trade deadline sealed the team's fate as the organization has it's sights set on the future.

The Cubbies began their rebuild in 2021 by trading away Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez at the deadline. Strangely, however, Chicago signed Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal during the offseason and held on to Willson Contreras and Ian Happ at the deadline this season.

The rebuilding Reds and Cubs meet for 3 games in Chicago.

The Cincinnati Reds will send Justin Dunn to the hill tonight. Wednesday's starter will be the left-hander Mike Minor and Thursday's matinee will see reliever turned starter, Luis Cessa, head to the bump.

David Ross will send former Cincinnati starter Wade Miley to the mound on Tuesday night. While Reds fans wish Miley had returned for his third season in the Queen City, the southpaw has dealt with injuries this season and only made four starts. Chicago has yet to determine who'll start on Wednesday and Thursday.

David Bell might be hard-pressed to keep Alejo Lopez on the bench during the upcoming series. While the priority is to get regular at-bats for up-and-coming infield prospect Spencer Steer, Lopez has hit .333/.360/.375 in his last seven games.

Look for Aristides Aquino, fresh off his grand slam during the series finale against the Coloraado Rockies, to draw the start in right field on Tuesday night. With the left-handed Wade Miley on the hill, the Reds will likely load up with right-handed bats.

If the Cincinnati Reds can sweep the Chicago Cubs inside the Friendly Confines, the Redlegs will overtake the Cubbies for third-place in the NL Central. While that seems of little interest to the fans who want to see a winner on the field, the next five weeks of play mean something to everyone in that Reds clubhouse. Let's hope they finish strong.

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