Without a doubt, the Cubs have a definitive advantage in starting pitching over the Reds. Friday night, Jon Lester will take the mound against Reds starter Tim Adleman. It will be Adleman’s first start of the season, and just the 14th start in his young big league career.
Last season, Adleman went 4-4 in 13 games (all starts) with a 4.00 ERA; in four innings this season, he is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Despite Friday being his fourth start, Lester is still looking for his first win of the season.
In 2016, Lester was flat out dominant in his 32 starts, going 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA. Although he is winless thus far, Lester has a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings to go alongside 17 strikeouts.
Saturday’s matchup will continue the trend of a disparity in experience between the two clubs’ starting pitching. 24-year-old Cody Reed will make his first start of the season, facing off against Jake Arrieta.
In 10 starts last season, Reed went 0-7 with a 7.36 ERA; in four appearances (eight innings) this season, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Arrieta has started hot in 2017 a year after going 18-10 with a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts. In three starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA, striking out 21 batters in 18.2 IP.
Sunday’s series finale is a throwback featuring two of the game’s most tenured starting pitchers. 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo will face-off against 38-year-old John Lackey; Arroyo will make his fourth start of 2017 after missing the previous two seasons.
Arroyo is 1-2 with an 8.40 ERA in three starts this season, giving up 14 earned runs in 18.0 IP. Lackey is also 1-2 (with a 4.00 ERA) in three starts this season, striking out 19 batters in 18.0 IP.