The Cincinnati Reds will head on the road to Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon for the series finale against the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs are clinging to a slim 1.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central standings with just 15 contests left on the regular season schedule. Meanwhile, the Reds are in last place in the division, 23.5-games back of the division-leading Cubs.
Castillo hows added velocity in last start vs. Dodgers
The Reds are scheduled to hand the ball to right-hander Luis Castillo, who showed some extra life on his fastball and was very effective with his changeup during his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Castillo struck out nine batters over 6 ⅓ innings of work, limiting the Dodgers on just one earned run on four hits to win for the second time in his last three starts. The Reds’ right-hander averaged nearly two miles per hour more on his fastball against the Dodgers, which should dispel any concerns about the youngster breaking down after logging a career-high 154 ⅔ innings of work this year. He is now 9-12 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 starts this season and has posted a solid 2.98 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star Break, while averaging better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings of work.
Castillo has made four starts against the Cubs this season, going 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, the current Cubs roster is batting a healthy .291 in 99 plate appearances versus the 25-year-old heading into this game.
Quintana riding hot streak into start vs. Reds
The Cubs will counter with veteran left-hander Jose Quintana after he continued his recent success in his last outing against the division-rival Brewers. The Cubs’ lefty spun 6 ⅔ innings of scoreless baseball to stymie Milwaukee in a vital 3-0 Cubs win. Quintana has surrendered two earned runs or less in each of his last five outings and is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA during that span. He comes in with a 13-9 overall record to go along with a 3.97 ERA in 28 starts this season and is 5-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
The 29-year-old lefty has made three starts against the Reds already this season going 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in his previous two starts versus Cincinnati dating back to 2015. According to Baseball Savant, the current Reds roster is batting .278 in 97 plate appearances against the Cubs veteran heading into Sunday’s matchup.
- Cubs are 8-2 in their last 10 Sunday games.
- Cubs are 41-12 in their last 53 home games vs. a team with a losing record.
- Reds are 7-20 in their last 27 road games.
- Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 during game 3 of a series