The Cincinnati Reds have been trying to figure out how to make the playoffs as they are a game back in the NL Wild Card and are second in the NL Central with a 73-66 record. They will be sending rookie Vladimir Gutierrez to pitch and he is coming off a losing effort against the Detroit Tigers where he went 3.1 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with a walk and strikeout.
The Chicago Cubs are preparing for the future as they are currently fourth in the NL Central with a 64-75 record this year. They will have righty Alec Mills on the mound here and he is coming off a no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates where he went 5.2 innings and allowed five runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
Cincy StrongThe Cincinnati Reds have been one of the best offensive units in baseball as they are fourth with a .761 OPS thus far. This team has proven to have a good power stroke as their 189 total homers is good for seventh in MLB (fourth in the NL). The Reds have been hitting well in their six September games so far this year as it has a .275/.356/.466 slashline with 5.33 runs per game in that stretch. Right fielder Nick Castellanos has been hitting extremely well this season as he has a .954 OPS with 26 home runs and 78 RBI with two steals in three attempts. If the Reds can continue to have the ability to score runs, it will do wonders for their playoff chances.
Vladimir Gutierrez is considered to be the 13th-ranked prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization and is struggling a bit this season. He is in the 13th percentile in strikeout percentage, 34th percentile in barrel percentage, 40th percentile in xBA, and 41st percentile in xERA. Gutierrez has a five-pitch arsenal (fastball, slider, curveball, changeup, sinker) and his changeup has been his best pitch as it has a .157 batting average and a .373 slugging percentage. He faced the Cubbies three times this season and is 1-2 in 17.2 innings and allowed five runs on 16 hits with six walks and 15 strikeouts.
Cubbies = Lovable LosersThe Chicago Cubs have been struggling at the plate this season as they have a .709 OPS and that is good for 22nd in baseball. They have scored 4.31 runs per game this season but it isn’t enough with their pitching staff struggling. Looking at the last seven days (six games), they have been on fire as they have scored 6.17 runs per game with an .827 OPS. Center fielder Ian Happ has been hitting decently this year as he has a .710 OPS with 19 homers and 48 RBI with three stolen bases in four attempts. If Chicago can figure out how to score more consistently, they will have a great chance to win here.
Alec Mills has been all over the board this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the 92nd percentile in barrel percentage, 10th percentile in strikeout percentage, 82nd percentile in walk percentage, and fourth percentile in whiff percentage. His 4.5 barrel percentage is the lowest of his career. Mills also throws five different pitches (sinker, fastball, changeup, slider, curveball) and the heater has been hit as it has a .308 batting average and five homers off it. He faced the Reds three times (two starts) and he is 0-2 in 12.2 innings and
- Chicago: 1-10 in their last 11 home games vs a team with a winning record
- Chicago: 5-21 in their last 26 games vs a team with a winning record
- Cincinnati: 8-3 in their last 11 during game 3 of a series
- Cincinnati: 4-0 in their last 4 games after losing the first 2 games of a series