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Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs Lineups: Preview and prediction (August 17, 2017)

Chicago leads the division and the series, but can Cincinnati even the score?

Wednesday night’s game was a close one, but Chicago snuck by the Reds on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to win 7-6. 

Cincinnati jumped out to an early lead in the first on an Eugenio Suarez sac fly, but the Cubs answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs of their own thanks to a grand slam by Anthony Rizzo.

Down 6-1 in the seventh, the Reds put up three runs thanks to home runs by Phillip Ervin and Zack Cozart, and then two more in the eighth to tie the game at six. The game slipped away from them in the bottom of the ninth though, thanks to a wild pitch by reliever Blake Wood that allowed Javier Baez to score from third. 

Game 4 Starters – Scott Feldman (RHP) vs Jon Lester (LHP)

Feldman’s season has been fairly mediocre so far, although his 4.43 ERA is second best among Reds starters with at least five games started. He is also the owner of a 1.34 WHIP and 7.69 K/9. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list back in July with knee inflammation, and his last start against the Brewers was his first start back from the injury. He allowed three runs in four innings, striking out six and walking one. 

Lester has been having a down year for the Cubs. He holds a 3.99 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 2017, although his K/9 is higher than it has been since 2010 at 9.51. He seems to be walking more batters and allowing more home runs than usual, which would account for the increase in runs allowed. He has faced the Reds twice this season, combining for 11.2 innings and eight earned runs. 


Reds LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Hamilton, CF3.249.300
Peraza, SS4.261.297
Votto, 1B31.315.447
Duvall, LF28.262.314
Suarez, 3B20.262.372
Gennett, 2B20.289.339
Ervin, RF1.250.400
Turner, C1.170.216
Feldman, P0.030.030
Cubs LineupHome RunsBattingAverageOn-Base Percentage
Jay, CF2.294.386
Schwarber, LF19.197.317
Bryant, 3B22.291.404
Rizzo, 1B28.265.385
Zobrist, RF8.223.314
Avila, C2.160.250
Happ, 2B15.243.317
Baez, SS18.269.308
Lester, P1.136.188

Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not

Joey Votto continues his post-all star break dominance, with a 1.281 OPS in his last 16 games. He has nearly as many walks as hits this month, with 20 and 21, respectively. Suarez has been on a similar tear with 14 hits and 15 walks in 16 games. He has also hit four home runs and driven in nine in that span. 

Adam Duvall is hitting .179 in the past week, gathering just three hits in 28 at-bats, although three of his hits have been home runs. 

Kris Bryant has been on a tear in August, putting up a 1.035 OPS with two home runs and nine RBIs. He’s reached base safely 29 times in 15 games. Javier Baez is batting .302 in his last 14 games with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

Jason Heyward continues to be a mystery for the Cubs, batting .222 and slugging  .267 this month, and going 3-18 in his last six games. Ben Zobrist has also been struggling with a .612 OPS in 13 games in August, striking out in nearly a quarter of his at-bats. 

Prediction: Cubs 8 – 4 Reds

The Reds will put up runs thanks to their home run heavy middle lineup and Lester’s affinity for the long ball, but I have a hard time believing Chicago will split a series with the last place team in their division while fighting to maintain their lead over the Brewers in the NL Central. With Feldman still relatively fresh from the DL, I think the Cubs take this one easily. 

Where to Watch

This afternoon’s game will be broadcast on FSO and CSC, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers. 


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Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs Lineups: Preview and prediction (August 17, 2017)

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