After taking the first game of the series last night, the Cincinnati Reds will look to guarantee nothing less than a split with another victory tonight in Chicago. The Cubs will be trying to avoid falling below the .500 mark. First pitch is set for 8:05pm ET tonight at Wrigley.
After giving up 12 earned runs in 13.2 innings in back-to-back starts to begin June, Ben Lively has posted a 3.23 ERA in his last six starts. One of the many surprises for the Reds this season, Lively has pitched very well in his first big league time since making one outing in 2019 with the Royals.
Righties and lefties both struggle to hit for much average or draw walks against Lively in 2023. Lefties make a little more contact and walk a little bit more, too, but the advantages there are small. The big difference is that right-handed hitters don’t hit for much power against him, while lefties are hitting for a bunch of it.
An All-Star for the first time in 2023, Steele has been outstanding for the Cubs this year. He’s made 19 starts with a
2.87 ERA 2.46 ERA (a scoring change from a game two weeks ago resulted in the drop in ERA 150 minutes prior to the start of today’s game). The lefty has either been really good, or he’s had a clunker of a start this season and there really hasn’t been much middle ground on that. Three of his starts have resulted in five or six earned runs. Two different 6-inning outings saw him allow three earned runs. Everything else has been one or two earned runs. His lone start against the Reds, back on May 21st, was one of those clunkers where he gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in 3.2 innings.
The splits for Steele aren’t that big this season. They are, however, reverse splits as lefties have hit him better than righties. Take that for the small sample size that it is, though, as he’s barely faced any left-handed hitters and the ones he has faced are likely among the best hitters in the league who teams weren’t willing to pull from the lineup. Neither righties or lefties have hit well against him, but lefties have shown more power in the limited chances they’ve gotten. Righties aren’t showing much power at all, nor are they hitting for average or drawing any walks.
When and Where
- Game time: 8:10pm ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
- Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
- Forecast: 78°, partly cloudy, 5% chance of rain
News and Notes
The Reds sit out the final day of the trade deadline
There were plenty of trades around Major League Baseball today, but none of them involved the Cincinnati Reds. There could be plenty of reasons for it – confidence in their own guys coming back from the injured list over the next 3-6 weeks, the asking price simply being too high for their comfort, etc. But at the end of the day the club made one move this year – acquiring reliever Sam Moll on Monday. He’s in Chicago tonight and was added to the roster.
Speaking of that, the club optioned reliever Daniel Duarte to Triple-A in order to make room for Moll on the 26-man roster.
|Playoff Odds via Fangraphs|