Chicago Cubs probable pitchers & starting lineup vs. Cincinnati Reds, May 31

Javier Assad takes the ball in the series opener at Wrigley Field against the last-place Reds.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The last-place Cincinnati Reds coming to town for a three-game weekend series to close out May and start the month of June doesn't seem like a big deal. But after dropping five of six to the Cardinals and Brewers over the last week, it's a critical series for the Chicago Cubs.

Craig Counsell's team is below .500 for the first time since opening the season 1-2 and enters the weekend in third place in the division, trailing both Milwaukee and St. Louis. The starting rotation has been the only consistent strength for the Cubs this season, leaving plenty to be desired on the basepaths, in the field and at the plate.

Cincinnati comes in at 24-32, finding success through their pitching instead of their offense, which was the expectation heading into the 2024 campaign. The Reds' Pythagorean W/L (27-29) suggests this is a much better team than that record suggests. This is by no means a team that's going to roll over and allow the Cubs to find their footing this weekend.

Probable starting pitchers

  • Javier Assad takes the ball for the Cubs looking to build on an impressive start to the season. He's been dominant at Wrigley, with a 1.33 home ERA in five starts. He started against the Reds last September and turned in a gem, tossing eight scoreless frames and striking out seven.
  • Graham Ashcraft starts for the Reds and all the numbers suggest this is the type of starter the Cubs' bats should be able to get something going against. The right-hander doesn't miss many bats and allows a good deal of hard contact, so hopefully that translates to success for a scuffling Chicago offense.

Chicago Cubs starting lineup, May 31

Cincinnati Reds starting lineup, May 31

What channel is the Chicago Cubs game on today?

  • Game Time: 1:20 PM CST
  • Marquee Sports Network and the Marquee Sports Network app will have the Cubs broadcast this afternoon.
  • Reds fans can catch the game on Bally Sports Ohio.

How do I stream the Chicago Cubs game today?

How can I listen to the Chicago Cubs game today?

  • The Cubs broadcast will be on WSCR 670 The Score and WRTO 1200
  • Reds fans can tune in on AM-700 WLW