Reds host Cubs, look to build on Bauer’s strong showing
Chicago Cubs (63-53, first in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (55-59, fourth in the NL Central)
Cincinnati; Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.06 ERA) Reds: Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.26 ERA)
LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 9 runs
Cincinnati heads into the matchup after a strong showing by Trevor Bauer. Bauer went seven innings, surrendering one run and striking out 11. The Reds are 25-29 against teams from the NL Central. The Cincinnati pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.05, Luis Castillo leads the staff with a mark of 2.69.
The Cubs are 26-22 against NL Central Division opponents. Chicago has slugged .453, good for fourth in the majors. Javier Baez leads the club with a .556 slugging percentage, including 63 extra-base hits and 28 home runs. The Reds won the last meeting 5-2. Trevor Bauer earned his 10th victory and Aristides Aquino went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs for Cincinnati. Yu Darvish took his sixth loss for Chicago.
TOP PERFORMERS: Eugenio Suarez leads the Reds with 31 home runs and is slugging .528. Aquino is 10-for-24 with a double, four home runs and 10 RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.
Baez leads the Cubs with 63 extra base hits and is slugging .556. Nicholas Castellanos is 15-for-37 with six doubles, four home runs and six RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 6-4, .264 batting average, 4.67 ERA
Cubs: 7-3, .294 batting average, 3.89 ERA, outscored opponents by 13 runs
Reds Injuries: Tyler Mahle: (hamstring), Derek Dietrich: (shoulder), Juan Graterol: (head), Curt Casali: (knee).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: (hand), Brandon Morrow: (elbow), Brandon Kintzler: (pectoral), Craig Kimbrel: (knee), Kendall Graveman: (elbow), Xavier Cedeno: (wrist), Daniel Descalso: (ankle), Willson Contreras: (hamstring).