The Chicago Cubs begin a nine-game road trip Friday night, facing off against the first place Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
After a so-so start, the Chicago Cubs are looking to take over first place in the NL Central division this weekend. At 8-7, the Cubs are 0.5 games behind the first place and 9-7 Cincinnati Reds.
The Cubs could put the Reds’ surprising start to the test this weekend. One should not discredit the Reds, but the rest of the NL Central has struggled so far this season.
While the Cubs are one game above .500, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are both several games under. Entering this season, many viewed these three as the best bets to win win the division.
Obviously, these slow starts could mean nothing, as there is plenty of baseball left to play. Likewise, the Reds’ hot start is impressive, but one would expect the rebuilding team to fade off at some point.
This week, the Cubs took two of three games from the Milwaukee Brewers, both come-from-behind victories. After losing Monday night 6-3, the Cubs erased a 5-0 deficit Tuesday en route to a 9-7 win. Wednesday, the Cubs were down 4-3 entering the 9th inning before Addison Russell’s walk-off three-run home run.
The Reds lost two of three games against the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week. After beating the Orioles 9-3 Monday, Cincinnati dropped the next two games 2-0 and 2-1. In those losses, the Reds had just two hits in each game. Both the Cubs and Reds are 5-5 in their last ten games.