The Chicago Cubs are making life tougher on the Cardinals and Brewers, as they extended their lead in the National League Central on Saturday. They are taking advantage of playing an inferior opponent this weekend, while the Cards are in Colorado facing a tricky Rockies team, and the Brewers are playing host to the Pirates. The Brewers got blasted yesterday by a score of 9-1, and the Cardinals unraveled late as the Rockies poured it on in the 8th inning.
The Cubs were the only team of the bunch to win, and thus, able to increase their lead in the NL Central. It’s going to be rather tough for the Cardinals or Brewers to make a run at the Cubs. Not because either team are particularly bad. Despite the Cardinals loss yesterday, they’ve been the hottest team in the majors the past month. However, they are trying to catch one of the best teams in baseball, and a team that has experience playing clutch baseball this time of the year.
While the Cards are hot, I think the most dangerous team in the National League has to be the Cubs. The offense came out to play for the Cubs on Saturday. They erupted for 10 runs in a 10-6 victory. The win was their fourth win a row, following three losses in a row.
They’ve seemed to wake up, especially the offense that has been powering them during their four-game winning streak. The pitching wasn’t great yesterday, but the offense was more than enough to secure a win. Nonetheless, it was the first time they have allowed more than 3 runs since August 15th. Homer Bailey will look to avoid a sweep for the Reds on Sunday. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to get the start for the Cubs. Get our free Reds vs. Cubs pick and the rest of the writeup below.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Pick
Homer Bailey (1-11, 6.21 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (9-10, 4.04 ERA)
Homer Bailey came off the DL to make a couple of quality starts. He was looking at his best. However, that all came crashing down in his next three outings. Bailey allowed 11 hits and 5 runs in 3.1 innings against the Mets, and then followed that up with 10 hits and 5 runs allowed in 5.1 innings against the Indians.
He took another loss in his most recent start, as he allowed 8 hits and 3 runs in 6 innings. Bailey has given up at least one long ball in four straight games. He also enters with a less than ideal ERA of 7.98, 2.18 WHIP, and .434 OBA in his previous three outings. If that’s not bad enough, the Cubs have had fun against Homer, hitting him at a clip of .356 with a .468 OBP. Anthony Rizzo has crushed him for a .400 and 2 long balls in 25 at-bats.
The Reds’ offense must find a way to score runs on Hendricks or it could get ugly. Hendricks goes into Sunday with a 3.79 ERA in his last three starts. He won’t blow hitters away, but he is consistently productive for the Cubs. Note that he has been better at home with an ERA of 3.86 and 1.14 WHIP at home.
The Reds are hitting .247 with 2 long balls against Hendricks in 147 at-bats. However, those 2 home runs and a .444 batting average came from Joey Votto. With Votto recovering from a leg injury, nobody in this lineup has taken Hendricks deep. Homer Bailey has been a fade machine for me over the years, which has in turn, been an ATM machine. Give me the Cubs to roll over the Reds on Sunday at Wrigley.