It’s safe to say the Cubs are disappointed after splitting their opening four-game series with the rebuilding Marlins in Miami. In the two Chicago victories, the offense game through in a big way, combining for 18 runs. The two losses saw the visitors score one total run in 26 innings.
The starting rotation struggled for the most part in Miami. Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, and Jose Quintana combined to allow an unsightly 15 runs in their three starts. The bullpen was excellent, allowing only two runs the entire series. The Cubs will strive for more consistency when they head to Cincinnati for a quick two-game series with the Reds.
The Nationals swept the Reds at home in a three-game opening series, obliterating the Cincy staff for 21 runs. Once again, the Reds’ strength is their lineup centered around Joey Votto. As evidenced by their first series of the season, however, the pitching is still a major issue. It would be nice for the Cubs to jump on the shaky Reds staff and put up some early runs, which they have done often in the past.
Those fans planning the opener in Cincy might want to be aware of some traffic issues around the ballpark Monday afternoon.
The Reds are having round 2 of their annual #OpeningDay celebrations that day, which includes a parade starting at 12p.
Most streets surrounding the ballpark will be impacted by this.
— Lauren McGregor (@blondewonk) March 31, 2018
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, April 2 at 3:10 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Tuesday, April 3 at 5:40 p.m. CT on WGN
Starting Pitchers (2017 Stats)
What To Watch For
- Lester had a rough first start against the Marlins allowing four runs in 3.1 innings of work. It will be interesting to see if he bounces back against a good Reds offense.
- Great American Ball Park is much more hitter-friendly than the spacious Marlins Park, which should help the Cubs offense.
- Ben Zobrist has been scalding the ball out of the gate. He’s 4-for-11, but several other smashes found gloves.
- Kris Bryant reached base 12 times in 23 plate appearances, good for a .522 on base percentage. I’m told that’s kind of good, looking for confirmation on that.