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5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, September 16, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 33,753

Despite Rizzo injury, Cubs look to ensure playoff spot against Reds

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Reds and Cubs meet for their final series of 2019, with Cincinnati holding a 9-7 edge in the season series. The Reds haven't finished a season with a winning record against the Cubs since 2014, when then went 11-8.
  2. The Cubs swept the Pirates over the weekend, scoring 17, 14 and 16 runs for 47 total runs, three runs shy of the modern-day record by an NL team in a three-game series. They also became the first NL team to score at least 14 runs in three straight games since the 1930 Cubs scored 16, 15 and 18 in three straight. That Cubs team went on to plate 10 and 13 in the next two.
  3. Kris Bryant had three homers over the weekend, and is now 11-for-22 with five home runs, 13 RBI and eight runs over a six-game hitting streak. Since 2015, his 89 hits are the most in MLB against the Reds, while his runs (61), doubles (23) and RBI (52) trail only Anthony Rizzo (66, 24, 68) for the most in the majors against the Cincinnati franchise.
  4. Yu Darvish, Tuesday's scheduled starter, struck out 14 over six scoreless innings against the Padres on Thursday. His 29.7 percent of swings that miss on the season is the best by a Cubs ERA qualifier since Kerry Wood was at 32.6 in 2003.
  5. Eugenio Suarez homered twice Sunday, and now has 47 on the season -- the most by a Red since George Foster hit a franchise-record 52 in 1977. Suarez is one home run from matching the single-season record for homers by a third baseman shared by Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980 and Adrian Beltre for the 2004 Dodgers.
  6. Tyler Mahle, who takes the ball in Wednesday's finale, has gone 11 straight starts since his last win on May 31. The last Reds pitcher to have a longer winless stretch in a season was Dontrelle Willis, who made 12 consecutive starts without a victory in 2011.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/16/2019 thru 9/18/2019

The Chicago Cubs will go for their fifth straight win when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night to open a three-game series.

But Chicago (81-68) might be distracted as it tries to close the gap on the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League Central. Veteran first baseman Anthony Rizzo sprained his right ankle on Sunday, and the team will learn more about the severity of the injury when Rizzo undergoes an MRI before Monday's game.

"It's not ideal," Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber told reporters. "The guy's been a staple in the middle of the lineup for years now."

The Cubs already are playing without star shortstop Javier Baez, who is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a hairline fracture in his thumb. The team also has been without players such as Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Ben Zobrist and Craig Kimbrel for extended periods of time this season as it tries to qualify for the postseason.

"We're used to this, in a sense," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The depth has got to pick us up."

Meanwhile, Cincinnati (70-80) will look to play the role of spoiler. The Reds are coming off a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks and have won three of their past four contests.

In 16 meetings this season, the Reds have a 9-7 advantage over the Cubs and have outscored them 81-73.

Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.89 ERA) will make his 26th start of the season. He is looking to bounce back from three consecutive losses, including a 4-0 defeat in his last outing Wednesday against the San Diego Padres. He gave up one run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings in that game.

Hamels has a 7.58 ERA (25 earned runs in 29 2/3 innings) in his last seven starts. That is a far cry from his first 18 starts, during which he posted a 2.84 ERA (33 earned runs in 104 2/3 innings).

In 19 career starts against the Reds, Hamels is 11-2 with a 2.21 ERA. He has 114 strikeouts in 122 innings.

The Reds will counter with right-hander Sonny Gray (10-7, 2.80), who is slated to make his 30th start of the 2019 campaign. He is coming off a hard-luck loss in which he allowed three runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners.

Gray is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts against the Cubs. Four of those matchups have come this season, with Gray going 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

"He believes he's the best pitcher out there and that he can get every hitter out," Reds manager David Bell recently told reporters. "Combine that with his stuff and experience, he's just continuing to get better. It'll be exciting to watch how far he can take it."

Reds slugger Eugenio Suarez clubbed his 46th and 47th home runs on Sunday. He is trying to challenge New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso for the home run title with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 16, 2019

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