The Cubs’ mission to tank has hit a bit of a snag over the last week with a six-game winning streak. That has undoubtedly been aided by playing equally bad Pirates and Twins squads, but the wins are still wins and Chicago has racked them up.
Frank Schwindel has emerged as a fan favorite with his outstanding play since being called up at the trade deadline. Schwindel joins Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega as intriguing pieces that could be part of the Cubs’ future plans. Identifying pieces like that is part of the value of these seemingly meaningless contests.
For the Reds, the upcoming three-game series is hardly meaningless. They are basically tied with the Padres for the second Wild Card spot and must win games against bad teams like the Cubs if they want to make the postseason.
Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos continue to carry the Reds with their outstanding second-half hitting. Votto in particular has really torn the cover off the ball since trying to emphasize power hitting.
If Cincinnati has an Achilles Heel it would be their shaky bullpen with a 5.20 ERA that ranks third-worst in all of baseball. They failed to adequately upgrade it at the trade deadline and it has cost them several games in recent weeks.
The Cubs have a chance to play spoiler in the series. When you are part of a team that cannot make the playoffs the closest you can get to it is to ruin for someone else.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, September 6 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee
- Tuesday, September 7 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee
- Wednesday, September 8 at 6:40pm CT on Marquee
What to Watch For
- Schwindel had 10 hits against the Pirates, including three home runs, and could continue his hot hitting.
- Matt Duffy is heating up as well with seven knocks and a pair of dingers last series.
- Sampson is getting a start after a couple of quality bullpen outings.