The Cubs return to home, to Wrigley Field, to start a ten-game home stand. To kick things off they will take on the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series.
These two teams are right in the middle of the NL Central standings. The Reds are in third place with a record of 19-18 and the Cubs are one spot behind with a record of 18-19.
Bronson Arroyo will pitch for the Reds. Arroyo has bounced back nicely from his 0-2 start and has managed to win three of his last five starts (two no-decisions). He comes into the game with a 5.94 ERA, 25 strikeouts, and a 1.32 WHIP.
For the Cubs’, Jon Lackey will look to shift his season to the winning side of a .500 record. He started the season off rough, but like Arroyo, Lackey also bounced back nicely. He was 1-3 after his first four games, but has won two of his last three games and now has a record of 3-3. His ERA (4.29), strikeouts (46), and WHIP (1.31) are all better than Arroyo, something the Cubs’ can be excited about.
Scott Feldman will take the mound for the Reds. It’s been an up and down season for Feldman so far and his record stands at 2-3. He doesn’t have a terrible ERA at 3.59, but it’s not that great either. His last decision was a complete game shutout against the Giants, so he is definitely capable of bringing good stuff against this struggling Cubs’ roster.
Kyle “The professor” Hendricks will toss it for the Cubs. He has been good this season, but whenever he pitches the Cubs’ offense doesn’t seem to match his performance. He has an ERA of 3.40, 34 strikeouts, and a record of 2-2 so far this season. He will look to return to the dominate pitcher he was last season and hope that the offense brings good stuff to get him his third win of the year.
Lisalverto Bonilla will pitch in the finale for the Reds. He has faced the Cubs before. It was a game in which he gave up four earned runs and ended up getting a no decision. He’s only pitched in two games this year and has yet to get a win. He has an ERA of 4.85, has 11 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.08.
Jon Lester finishes the series for the Cubs and it’s been a weird year for him so far. He’s pitched in eight games, but has only gotten a decision in three of those games. He’s 1-2 so far, but has a decent ERA (3.45) and 49 strikeouts. Despite giving up five earned runs in two games, he has been really good on the bump.
Players to Watch
Joey Votto has been on a tear in the last week, batting .318 with four RBIs. He’s batting .364 in the month of May and has 14 RBIs to go along with that electric average. He’s knocked 10 out of the park and has batted in 33 runs so far. Votto should always be a player to look out for when the Reds’ come to your ballpark.
It’s been a struggle for the Cubs’ through 37 games this season, but one man hasn’t struggled at all. Kris Bryant is batting .273 in the last seven days, .325 in the month of May, and .315 against the National League. He has seven home runs and 18 RBIs, also a .401 OBP. Bryant is the key for the Cubs’ this series and, more importantly, this season. He’s returning to lineup after a stomach illness and it will be great to see him back in the lineup.
Here’s a look at tonight’s lineup for the Cubs!
Here's how we'll line up to open our 10-game homestand.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 16, 2017
For continued coverage of the Cubs, follow along on Twitter! @CubsColumn