Tough night for the Cubs on Thursday, or should I say, tough inning for the Cubs. The Cubs were downed by the Reds by a score of 6-2 last night. All of the Reds’ runs came in the 6th inning. Things were starting to unravel for Kyle Hendricks, and then it got uglier when his replacement came in. Jesse Winkler demolished a ball to hit the first grand slam of his career. It took the game from 2-2 to 6-2 with one swing of the bat. It wasn’t a pretty night for the Cubs.
They took a 2-run lead and expected to just sit on that for 9 innings. Give credit to Matt Harvey, though, he’s been down in the dumps for a while, and he showed up against one of the best teams in the major leagues. If he rides that momentum and keeps it going is another story. Harvey has had nice starts occasionally, but occasionally really isn’t good enough at this level.
The Reds will look to make it two in a row over the Cubs, which would be a nice little stint for them over a quality opponent. The start of 2018 was not the best looking, but they’ve been showing some life lately. Joey Votto was voicing his displeasure a few weeks ago, so perhaps everything else listened. Votto has carried the Reds for years, and if he doesn’t sign with another team, I don’t see his individual accomplishments resulting in a team accomplishment. The Reds have won four straight games and are 7-3 in their last ten games. This is some of the best baseball we’ve seen out of Cincinnati in 2018 thus far. We’ll see if they can work some magic again on Friday. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Reds pick. Have a great weekend and best of luck with your picks.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Jose Quintana (6-5, 4.06 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (4-8, 5.77 ERA)
Quintana will get the nod on the hill for the Cubs, as he looks to help his team avoid two losses in a row. With a record of 5-5 in their last ten games, the Reds have in fact been the better team recently. Will this matter any in October? No, no at all. The Cubs will likely be in the postseason, and the Reds on vacation that time of the month again.
Quintana enters with an ERA of 4.06, so there is room for him to bring that up. Nevertheless, the Reds have struggled against Quintana. They’re hitting .213 against the lefty, with no long balls in 61 at-bats. Votto is the only guy in the lineup that has hit a double off him. He has also been much better on the road, with a 2.78 ERA, compared to 6.00 at Wrigley. Wrigley Field can be a tricky park to pitch in some days, and Quintana evidently hasn’t had the most success. In any case, he has been a decent addition to the Cubs’ starting rotation. Quintana finished with an ERA of 3.74 in 2017 with the Cubs, so he has a bit of work to do to match that.
Luis Castillo counters for the Reds, as he looks to find a groove in Cincinnati this evening. It hasn’t been particularly a smooth ride for him recently. Castillo enters with an ERA of 5.77, with some of his worst work coming lately. He’s gone 0-3 with a 6.89 ERA. The 25-year-old showed plenty of promise a year ago in his rookie season. He finished with an ERA of 3.12 in 15 starts. However, he has been finding out that it won’t be as easy with the extended workload. The Cubs will likely bounce back on Friday in this spot against the Reds.