Major League Baseball
Cincinnati at Chi. Cubs
When: 8:05 PM ET, Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

The fickle nature of baseball has shown itself to the Chicago Cubs the past two games. The Cubs followed up one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season with a disappointing day at the plate, and they’ll try to trend back toward the former when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the third contest of a four-game series Wednesday.

After routing the Reds 15-5 in Monday’s series opener, the Cubs left 10 men on base in a 2-1 defeat Tuesday. Chicago remains 1 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis and Milwaukee in the National League Central. Cincinnati snapped a three-game skid Tuesday and also ended a streak of 10 straight losses in night games at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lead the season series 7-4, but Cincinnati has won three of the past five meetings.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), WGN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Homer Bailey (4-6, 8.31 ERA) vs. Cubs RH John Lackey (10-9, 4.82)

Bailey has been wildly inconsistent in 10 outings since returning from elbow surgery, mixing in four quality starts along with five starts in which he allowed at least six runs. The 31-year-old won at Milwaukee on Friday, holding the Brewers to two runs and five hits over five innings. Bailey is 8-3 with a 4.37 ERA in 16 starts against the Cubs, but he hasn’t faced them since 2014.

Lackey has won all five of his starts since the All-Star break, posting a 3.42 ERA. The 38-year-old has allowed three or fewer runs in six straight outings, and he gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings to win at Arizona on Friday. Lackey is 6-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 15 starts against the Reds and has split two meetings this season.


1. Cubs 2B/OF Ben Zobrist has been out of the lineup the past two games with a stiff neck but was able to pinch hit Tuesday.

2. Reds 1B Joey Votto walked three times Tuesday and has reached base at least twice in a club-record 20 consecutive games, one shy of Ted Williams’ major-league record set in 1948.

3. Cincinnati OF Billy Hamilton recorded his 50th stolen base Tuesday, giving him four straight seasons with at least 50.

PREDICTION: Cubs 7, Reds 5

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Cincinnati 50-70 W1 29-31 21-39 8-15 24-23 13-20 5-12
Chi. Cubs 62-56 L1 30-27 32-29 14-10 27-20 13-19 8-7
Last Meeting
Cincinnati Chi. Cubs
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/15/17 CIN 2 CHC 1 .250 0 .640 .219 0 .543
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati J. Votto .375 15 1.140
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .326 14 1.199
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati J. Votto 2 9 10
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 6 11 17
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 6.03 .262 98
Chi. Cubs 4.50 .268 93
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati J. Votto .316 131 1.048
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant .293 120 .941
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati J. Votto 31 83 83
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 27 67 76
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 5.28 .254 965
Chi. Cubs 3.95 .248 1034