After splitting a series with the Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds are hitting the road to take on the Chicago Cubs for a 3-game series in The Windy City. Today and Sunday will both be afternoon games, with today’s first pitch set for 2:20pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

Jonathan India – 2B Nico Hoerner – 2B
Matt McLain – SS Dansby Swanson – SS
Spencer Steer – 1B Mike Tauchman – CF
Tyler Stephenson – DH Ian Happ – LF
Nick Senzel – LF Trey Mancini – DH
Stuart Fairchildย  – RF Christopher Morel – RF
Kevin Newman – 3B Matt Mervis – 1B
Jose Barrero – CF Miles Mastrobuoni – 3B
Curt Casali – C Tucker Barnhart – C
Hunter Greene – RHP Justin Steele – LHP

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Hunter Greene 50.0 4.68 1.50 20 69
Justin Steele 61.1 2.20 1.01 16 53
Links: Hunter Greene’s Stats | Justin Steele’s Stats

Hunter Greene

There have been a lot of strikeouts for Hunter Greene in his last two starts, but he’s also allowed 10 earned runs in 11.0 innings. After allowing just one home run in April he’s allowed seven of them through four starts in May. He’ll look to improve on both of those things this afternoon against the Cubs.

Right-handed hitters are hitting very well against Hunter Greene this year, posting a .988 OPS against him. They aren’t walking much, but they are picking up plenty of hits and hitting for a lot of power against him. Lefties are not having nearly the same kind of success, posting just a .666 OPS while striking out significantly more.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 114 33 11 0 6 9 30 .320 .386 .602
LHH 110 22 5 1 2 11 39 .225 .309 .357

Pitch Usage

4-seam Slider Change
Velo 99.2 88.9 92.2
Usage 53% 41% 6%

Justin Steele

After breaking out last year for the Cubs, 27-year-old Justin Steele has taken things to another level in 2023. He currently leads the National League in wins and he has a 2.20 ERA through 10 starts. He’s allowed just two home runs in 61.1 innings this season.

Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele, but that could also be a bit misleading because not many lefties are given the chance to face him – so he’s only facing the best left-handed hitters in a lineup. Even still, those guys aren’t performing particularly well against him this year – posting a .652 OPS. That’s better than right-handed hitters have done, though, with a .565 OPS against him. Righties have made contact at a solid clip, but they have not been able to do much when they do put the bat on the ball.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 182 34 9 1 1 12 35 .207 .272 .293
LHH 58 12 4 0 1 4 18 .226 .293 .359

Pitch Usage

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Curve Change
Velo 92.4 92.0 83.4 81.2 88.1
Usage 62% 2% 34% 1% 1%

When and Where

  • Game time: 2:20pm ET
  • Where: Wrigley Field
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv, MLB Network
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 61ยฐ, sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Roster moves incoming!

Wil Myers has been placed on the 10-day injured list as he deals with kidney stones. The Reds also activated reliever Fernando Cruz from the injured list (strained shoulder). Will Benson has been recalled from Triple-A Louisville, and reliever Alan Busenitz was optioned to Triple-A. You can read more about the moves here if that’s something that would interest you.

Elly De La Cruz will be the face of baseball

Last night saw another big game from Elly De La Cruz. He hit a home run to Canada, or at least that’s how far the Syracuse Mets broadcaster thought it went. He would also note that he felt that De La Cruz was going to be the face of baseball very soon. Needless to say, but I’m going to say it – he was impressed.

The Louisville Bats are over .500!

Last night saw the Louisville Bats beat the Syracuse Mets in extra innings. The win moved the Bats to 24-23 on the season. It marked the first time Louisville had been over the .500 mark at any point in any season since July 27th of 2016. Just an incredible streak of bad baseball. Tons more details about just how bad it’s been for the Bats here if you want to read all about it.

Standings

Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Brewers 27 23 0.0 60.0%
Pirates 25 24 1.5 10.8%
Cubs 22 27 4.5 18.4%
Cardinals 23 29 5.0 43.4%
Reds 21 29 6.0 1.0%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

121 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    I’ll have the game up but the volume down until my afternoon meetings are done right around 3PM.

    Here’s to kicking the Stupid Cubs across Waveland, dragging them back, and doing it again.

    I hope Senzel can manage LF in Wrigley today. I’m not expecting it to be a misplaced Yonder Alonzo out there … but that’s not an easy place in that park by any stretch.

    Reply
  2. Melvin

    Alright! We got Benson back! Stay down there De La Cruz. You’re not ready yet. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      It looks to me like the wheels may be starting to slowly move for a call up of either ELDC or CES though. Meyers being out may cloud the situation; but, appearances are Senzel is now being targeted as Fraley’s platoon buddy thus opening up 3B.

      Once 3B is open any and all sorts of things can happen. ELDC or CES could play there. Alternatively Steer could move back to 3B to open 1B for CES. Or, McLain could be moved to 3B to open SS for EDLC.

      Reply
      • Ted Alfred

        Wow… a lineup with those hitters 4-9?

        Where is Fraley and Friedl? Never mind…I know…the all knowing David Bell.

        Meanwhile, this from Doug’s pregame analysis: Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele.

        I give up…. quite a pathetic four through nine batting order. Plus we have Senzel in LF and Newman at 3rd…we’ll see how it goes

      • Melvin

        ” slowly”

        It’s the key word. I was hoping that having a better chance to win might actually be a consideration at some point. Silly me. Last place is no big deal right? Somebody has to be there. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Melvin

        “Meanwhile, this from Dougโ€™s pregame analysis: Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele.”

        David Bell is exhausting. Truly

      • 2020ball

        Last time yall complained the Reds scored 10 runs

      • Melvin

        See…it helps. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that you 2020 would be waaay above “complaining”. lol ๐Ÿ˜€

      • greenmtred

        Sometimes it’s a good idea to wait and see what happens in the game, don’t you think?

      • 2020ball

        lol, I’m just always right when I do it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • greenmtred

        Ten hits and counting from those guys.

      • Melvin

        “lol, Iโ€™m just always right when I do it ?”

        Can you teach me how to be “always right”? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. SR

    If you can play center, you can play left. Anywhere. Senzel needs to get comfortable out in the outfield corner positions if he wants to keep getting ABโ€™s in the future with younger, cheaper players moving up. 15md

    Reply
    • Melvin

      If Senzel wants to stay with the Reds he needs to get comfortable playing everywhere except pitcher and catcher. He’s not going to take away a regular playing spot from one of these young guys coming up.

      Reply
    • Melvin

      …and Steer again with a triple. ๐Ÿ™‚ They make a good combo in the order.

      Reply
  4. LDS

    I see Bell went with his handedness line up again. Is Bell even vaguely aware that Friedl is hitting .300 against LH’ers? Or that Barrero, despite being RH, hits RH’ers about 70 points higher than LH’ers? Is he just innumerate or clueless? It’s really hard to figure out which.

    Reply
      • LDS

        Not an obsession. An observation- one that lays to rest the myth that Bell and/or the Reds are in any way analytical.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Cubs broadcast:

    Highest OPS vs. Reds since 1906 (Min 300 PA)

    Bonds 1.184
    Berkman 1.087
    Happ 1.048

    Reply
  6. LarkinPhillips

    Nice to see the Reds jump out to an early lead and then add one on. Need a quick inning from Greene in one of the next couple to get him through 6 and to a rested bullpen.

    Reply
  7. SR

    Does anyone think the musical chairs that Bell does constantly might contribute to being at or near the bottom in defensive statistics? This also impacts pitcher performance too. 16g

    Reply
  8. Mark Moore

    Not thrilled with the pitch count, but at least we’re getting it done and finally backing him. Here’s hoping Greene gets that elusive first win for 2023.

    Reply
  9. VaRedsFan

    I like Greene’s slider at 84, which he just threw, rather than the 89-92.
    Keeps hitters way more off-balanced.

    Reply
  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Chris Welsh’s point about Greene on 0-2 pitches is very valid. The eye test tells me that Greene misses badly on many of his two-strike pitches. That’s when you want the batter to chase because they look close to the zone, but aren’t actually in the zone. Greene more often than not, with two strikes, is not close enough to the zone to entice the batter to chase. That’s one of the reasons the pitch counts are typically high for Greene, and he has to figure out a way to reverse that trend.

    Reply
  11. old-school

    Welcome back Tyler Stephenson. Join the young offense.

    Reply
  12. Mark Moore

    Holy Freaking CRAP!!!

    This really feels good to watch this. Even Casali scores on that one. Got to love it.

    And maybe TySteve is on the upswing afterall.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      Did we really think TS wasn’t going to turn it around at some point?

      Reply
      • Mark Moore

        I didn’t really. Any hesitance came from not knowing what recovery from his collar bone surgery meant for his swing/power/etc.

    • Melvin

      I know you’ve always loved those “stupid Cubs” as you put it. It’s probably killing you. haha

      Reply
  13. Tom Mitsoff

    Question for Doug: I don’t watch the minors so I have no idea — is de la Cruz better defensively at shortstop than McLain? McLain so far has made all the plays, even the tough ones.

    Reply
    • LDS

      Doug posted yesterday that defensively: Barrero>EDLC>McLain.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        That’s saying something because McLain is pretty good.

      • 2020ball

        It was actually Barrero>EDLC>>McClain

        That extra greater than is important

  14. Kevin H

    I think this was touched on already, however Senzel in Left Field the last two games makes me wonder if De La Cruz is close to be called up to play 3rd?

    I still think Hopkins deserves a shot over Benson at this point.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      3B was always the best slot to open for him, or the spot to open so he could play SS. My guess is we will see McClain there and EDLC at SS. I’m not that concerned with the combination, but Elly is the best defender so that’s what I’m hoping for. I think the CF idea is a terrible choice.

      Reply
    • 2020ball

      Benson’s on the 40 and there’s no reason to kill our thin depth in the OF. Hopkins will get his chance.

      Reply
      • Kevin H

        Good comment, and I believe your correct. Just frustrating, however in time as you said.

    • Beroader

      I’m moreso thinking he’s going to get that rare 200 pitch no-hitter.

      Reply
      • Daytonnati

        The Jim Maloney Special! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Yep, I agree. The next step for Greene is to figure out how to keep the pitch count down.

      Reply
  15. Kevin H

    Greene hasn’t allowed a hit so far through 4 innings. Can he go 2 more innings? Stay tuned.

    Pitching great though

    Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      He’ll likely be around 100 pitches by the end of five innings.

      Reply
      • Kevin H

        I was thinking could he be good for 110 pitches today? Not sure as your right he will around 100 pitches after 5

  16. Woodrow

    Not only in YTD batting average, but in dollars paid per point of OPS, Kevin Newman > Dansby Swanson. Little things.

    Reply
  17. VaRedsFan

    Girardi in the Cubs booth. He really provides good insight.

    Reply
  18. VaRedsFan

    Casali…1st time catching Greene this year.
    Coincidence or not, he’s pressing the right buttons today (so far)

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Maybe we should let Greene hit for himself and DH for Casali. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  19. LDS

    2 more outs for his first win of the season – assuming the Reds don’t choke.

    Reply
  20. Mark Moore

    All Steer needs is a dinger for his cycle today. That would be extra sweet.

    Reply
  21. 2020ball

    McClain and the Batboy are the same height ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Reply
  22. MBS

    McLain just looks lost at the plate, probably could use some more time becoming the best AAA player that he can be.

    Reply
    • MBS

      In all seriousness, not too happy with that out at the plate.

      Reply
      • Kevin H

        Was it a bad tag up to try and score? I assume yes?

      • VaRedsFan

        Not really….he was safe by a mile…Brain cramp by not dropping the hand.

    • VaRedsFan

      Yes…should have dragged the hand across the plate.
      Lesson learned hopefully.

      Reply
  23. DataDumpster

    Started a little late but in spite of the pitch count, I think Greene has his best movement and placement in any of the games I’ve seen this year. The Cubs are also terribly late so his speed must be good also. Looks like he’s primed for at least 6 hitless innings. The only downside is, as I suspected, the catcher is Casali. Looks like that 3 catcher “system” is still in blocking mode. On the other hand, have to be excited about the hit parade today and 2 days prior.

    Reply
  24. Melvin

    Six innings no runs from Hunter Greene is something we’ll take every time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      You really have to wonder if Casali catching made a difference for Greene.

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        I wonder the same thing, but the Cubs are making a lot of Reds well today. Barrero is looking like a hitter today.

      • BK

        Casali’s catching ERA is keeping him on the team. He’s two full runs below Stephenson and Maile in catcher’s ERA.

      • Old-school

        I dont know

        Castillo was a different pitcher one year with ERA splits Casali v barnhart

  25. Jim Walker

    Fairchild quietly had a pretty good homestand and is off to a strong start today (3/4, 2x 2B).

    On the concluded homestand in 17PAs, his AVE/OBP/SLG/OPS was .313/.353/.375/.728 which was good for a 107 OPS+.

    He hit 8 balls in play with an EV of at least 90mph, with 4 of them at 95mph or higher. his only downer was a 29% KRate (5) against a 6% BBRate. Ironically, 2 of his 5 hits were EV’s below 90mph.

    I haven’t found a source that breaks out his PAs by handedness for just the last week but on the season, Fairchild now has more PAs in games started by RH pitchers than in games started by LH pitchers.

    Reply
    • BK

      As self-proclaimed VP of the RLN Stuart Fairchild Fanclub (Jim, of course, is President w/out term limit), he’s one of the better fourth outfielders in the league and could start on a number of teams. I’m always baffled when he appears on peoples’ amateur GM DFA lists. Speed, solid defense, good bat (hits both sides well), inexpensive, and an option remaining–a lot of value as a bench player.

      Reply
      • Optimist

        May I be 2nd VP – have always thought he was an ideal 5th OFer, and agree that he’s moving up to a 4th/platoon OFer. Yes to all the attributes listed, and he’s good on lots of the secondary analytics measures as well, and has been throughout his time in MiLB. Just a good ballplayer for being a pre-teen.

      • BK

        I bet other teams would take him over one of their starting outfielders, too.

  26. GreatRedLegsFan

    Great offensive day for Steer, Stephenson and Fairchild, the latter finally showing signs of turning the corner.

    Reply
      • Melvin

        Newman, if I’m not mistaken, has had two hits in his last three games. If he keeps that up I’ll become a Newman fan. Promise. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can live with two hits a game.

      • SteveAReno

        Newman’s two doubles were strong and he is a real gamer

    • Jim Walker

      Even early in the season when Fairchild was scuffling to keep his BA above .200, he had reasonably strong quality of contact Statcast metrics (EV/ Barrels/ Sweetspots) and walked enough to keep his OBP in the .330-.360 range.

      Then he fell off somewhat with very irregular and inconsistent playing time. However about 10 days to 2 weeks ago, it seemed that half or nearly half of the balls he was putting in play were getting back above 90 in EV. It has been a fortunate thing for him and the team that the last week afforded him the chance to start getting 3-4 PAs a game while playing in 5 of 7 games.

      Reply
  27. Melvin

    McLain since being called up .308/.400/.564 Not too bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • BK

      Yep, he really showed no weaknesses at AAA. It’s amazing how much he improved in the off-season.

      Reply
    • greenmtred

      Bell is being Bell: up 7-0 in the 8th he puts in his best defensive configuration. He also moved Senzel to third and replaced him in left with Benson. It’s just possible that other MLB managers would do the same thing. If the game gets close, he’s still got Fraley and Friedl to hit if needed.

      Reply
      • Beaufort Red

        +1000
        Some people complain about the dumbest thing.

      • LDS

        If the games gets close, the Reds have a bigger problem. Iโ€™ve not seen Bensonโ€™s defensive profile

      • LDS

        @Beaufort, questions arenโ€™t complaints.

  28. Tom Mitsoff

    After his walk in his last at-bat, McLain’s OPS is .977.

    Reply
  29. Melvin

    Benson with a bloop base hit. Woohoo! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know he’s at least trying hard.

    Reply
  30. Old-school

    McLain is going to be one of those pain in the a$& players other teams hate

    Enjoy the 9-0 shellacking at Wrigley Reds fans. Weve earned it

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Yep and as we saw in that monumental PA the other night, even when he doesn’t reach, he can land the body punches that help lead to eventually getting a guy off the mound.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        Providing good health of course he could be a good one for a LONG time. The Reds drafted well when they drafted him

    • TR

      Almost as much fun as beating the Cardinals. A solid six for HG.

      Reply
  31. Melvin

    Injured or not I know Barrero doesn’t feel good. It was his ball. He’s the CF but he has to call Benson off. Don’t know what happened.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Barrero is tough/durable. Poor Senzel would have been out at least a month on that one.

      Reply

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