The Cubs (71-62) pulled out two important wins against the first place Brewers at Wrigley Field to go a season-high nine games above the .500 mark. They have improved their overall standing in the Wild Card race and are just three back of Milwaukee as they head to Cincinnati for another huge series with postseason implications.
The Reds (69-66) just had a tough road trip to San Francisco and Arizona, going 2-5 to drop out of playoff position. Losing star rookie shortstop Matt McLain to an oblique injury is a huge blow to the lineup. This is still a dangerous group even without McLain, however, especially at Great American Ball Park.
Hunter Greene is back from injury but has gotten lit up since his return, which has contributed to the rotation’s overall 5.30 ERA. The failure to add rotation help at the deadline has come back to haunt them recently, though Cincinnati has a decent bullpen if they can just get to it with a lead.
David Bell‘s squad is going to be in desperation mode this weekend knowing a bad performance might put them completely out of the race. They’re going to need to play better than they have his season, as the Reds are actually three games under at Great American Ball Park this season.
This is a big spot for the Cubs, who have a chance to bury one of their division opponents and increase their playoff odds at the same time. It’s not going to be easy with a doubleheader to open the series, but let’s see if they can seize the moment.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, September 1 at 12:10pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) Marquee.
- Friday, September 1 at 5:40pm CT on Marquee.
- Saturday, September 2 at 5:40pm CT on Marquee.
- Sunday, September 3 at 11:10am CT on Marquee.
What to Watch For
- The Cubs are likely to call up Shane Greene to make a spot start in the second game of the doubleheader.
- Alexander Canario, one of Chicago’s top prospects, is also coming up to the majors to make his debut with rosters expanding on September 1.
- Jeimer Candelario went hitless against the Brewers and has gone 5-for-25 over his last six games.
- Joey Votto and Jonathan India are both on the injured list right now for the Reds.