Chicago Cubs Series Preview: Reds scuffling as Cubs come to Cincinnati

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Cubs look to take the two-game set

Game 1: Monday, April 2 – 3:10 p.m. CT | Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 0.00) v Tyler Mahle (0-0, 0.00)

It’s a battle of Tyler’s as the Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood makes his regular season debut against the Reds’ Tyler Mahle. Chatwood was the first signing of the Cubs free agent season, and they’re expecting big things from him. With one of the best road ERA’s in the leagues last year, getting away from Coors Field may be just what the doctor ordered for him.

He faced the Reds only once last season, going 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA last season. But that was at Coors Field, and we’ve already talked about that one. In road starts, he was 8-1 with a 1.69 ERA. There might not be anyone who’s been so happy to NOT call Colorado his home park.

Chatwood will be opposed by Tyler Mahle, who drew the matchup thanks to a rainout against the Nationals on Thursday. Mahle might be happy with that after seeing the Cubs struggle with runners in scoring position the entire weekend in Miami.

Game 2: Tuesday, April 3 – 5:40 p.m. CT | Jon Lester (0-0, 8.10) v Cody Reed (0-0, 0.00)

The Cubs’ Jon Lester had a less than sparkling debut in the opener, going just 3 1/3 innings while allowing four runs (three earned). Joe Maddon might have thought he as doing the Cubs a favor by turning to the bullpen early. But two extra-inning games later in the series put a stress on the Cubs bullpen right away.

Lester might be getting paid the most money on the staff, but they don’t need him to be the “ace” anymore. However, they do need him to go five or six innings and get the bullpen to a position where they aren’t having to eat so many innings.

The Reds will turn to Cody Reed who was called up from Louisville as several players landed on the DL. It’s been a struggle for Reed, who has surrendered 20 hits in 12 1/3 innings this spring. But the Reds have decided to go with Reed over Amir Garrett.

Reed needs to show something soon or he might find himself being shipped back to Triple-A soon. While he will get the nod on Tuesday, how long he goes from there is a mystery.