The Chicago Cubs will wrap up their weekend in Cincinnati against the Reds. A series like this is the kind of matchups that have to be wins. Yesterday the Cubs made no doubts about it, as they demolished the Reds by a score of 10-0. The Reds being a doormat for the competition is no surprise, so it’s expected for them to get blown out. Cincinnati did enjoy a rare win over the Cubs on Friday, though, as they won a 5-4 game. The first game of the series resulted in a 8-1 Cubs win, so they still hold a 22-6 run differential over three days.
Looking at that, the Reds should just be happy to have one win in their back pocket. In any case, they’ll go for a second today against Yu Darvish. Darvish’s confidence seemed to get rocked last year against the Astros. People put the blame on him for the Dodgers’ woes and failure to win the World Series. There is no doubt that Darvish could have pitched better, and it would have helped out greatly. But you can’t dwell on what could have been. Darvish got a ticket out of town and landed in Chicago with the Cubs.
Darvish appears to be dwelling on the past, because he hasn’t been in fine form thus far with the Cubs. He has to hope that it didn’t kill his confidence. He’s a good pitcher, but the mental game can impact a pitcher more than anything else. He is on pace for the worst year of his career, but we’ll see if he can pick it up. Darvish is coming off a quality start against the Braves, as he allowed just 1 run across 4 innings. There hasn’t been any consistency to his game, though. Tyler Mahle will counter for the Reds. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Reds pick on Sunday in the majors.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Yu Darvish (0-3, 5.56 ERA) vs. Tyler Mahle (3-5, 5.35 ERA)
Darvish has been so up and down thus far that it’s hard to get a total read on him yet. It’s only the month of May, so it is early to draw conclusions. Four starts ago he allowed 5 runs against the Rockies. He followed that up with a shutout performance vs the Brewers. However, things went awry in the next start, allowing 5 runs against the Rockies again. That then leads us to his last outing where he surrendered just 3 hits and 1 run. Darvish has only faced this Reds’ roster with 15 at-bats, but only allowed 3 hits for a .200 batting average. You have to believe it will finally start to click for him, but it’s been a tough adjustment to the National League for him. He has shown he can pitch well, albeit inconsistently.
Darvish doesn’t get the hottest offense in the world to pitch against. The Reds are 25th in the majors with 4.04 scored per game. Conversely, the Cubs are 3rd with 5.37 runs per game. Note that in their last three games they’ve averaged 7.33 per. they are hitting well with a .285 batting average in their last ten games. Conversely, the Reds are hitting .236 Mahle has been terrific against this lineup, but again, not much to go by in the limited workload he’s had. Kris Bryant leads the team with just 3 appearances at the plate against him. The Cubs should be able to do enough to earn a win against the Reds to make it three of four in this series. It’s a bigger start than it looks for Darvish, who is finally looking for back-to-back quality starts. I think he can get that against a below average Reds’ offense.