Reds vs. Cubs, 2:20 ET
Both of these teams will head into the offseason with a lot of questions. The biggest difference between the two of them for next year is hope. The Reds are unlikely to be landing a big free agent, or do much to improve the on-field product. The Cubs at least have rumors that they are looking to sign one of the big shortstops on the market. What happens, who knows, but for now, let’s look at today’s game.
Chase Anderson hasn’t been bad for the Reds since joining their rotation. In fact, in his September outings, he has only allowed two earned runs once in a game. The rest have either been one-run games or zero. I have to assume that either the Reds or someone else will give him a shot to be a spot starter or someone that they can throw in the bullpen as a long reliever. He is showing he can keep his team in the game even if he isn’t really going super deep into it. His longest start was five innings and he has done that twice. On the road, he has a stellar 2.77 ERA and seems very comfortable pitching as a visitor. Just keep in mind, this isn’t a huge sample size – it amounts to just 13 innings pitched. This will be his first start against the Cubs and I do expect Willson Contreras to do some damage to him (10-for17 lifetime with five doubles and two home runs).
For the Cubs, they get their most recent “big” signing, Marcus Stroman, to pitch in likely his last game of the season. For most of this season, Wrigley Field was the worst possible place for Stroman to pitch. Then, I decided I was going to play the Rockies on the road against him and he was able to turn in his best home performance of the season. I think he even had a no-hitter through five innings. He doubled down with a seven-inning four-hit gem against the Phillies, allowing just one earned run. Maybe something has clicked and Stroman will be great at Wrigley moving forward? I think it is certainly possible, Jon Lester, the last big signing, took a while to settle into Wrigley. I just don’t think it was a full season.
I’m going to take the Cubs run line in this game. They should be able to win this game with relative ease. Even with Chase Anderson pitching well. I expect that we should see the Cubs at the very least get to the Reds bullpen. Stroman is pitching better too so that makes me more comfortable. In addition, I’ll be looking at Contreras props to see what is available when they are posted (not posted at the time of writing).
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