Cincinnati hosts Chicago following Castillo’s strong performance
Chicago Cubs (45-38, first in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (37-43, fifth in the NL Central)
Cincinnati; Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Jon Lester (7-5, 3.83 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 82 strikeouts) Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (4-4, 4.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 77 strikeouts)
LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 10 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Cincinnati heads into the matchup fresh off a strong showing by Luis Castillo. Castillo pitched seven innings, surrendering one run on three hits with six strikeouts against Chicago.
The Reds are 14-20 against opponents from the NL Central. The Cincinnati pitching staff owns a team ERA of 3.70, Luis Castillo leads the staff with a mark of 2.56.
The Cubs are 14-12 in division games. Chicago has a collective on-base percentage of .329, good for third in the National League. Kris Bryant leads the lineup with a mark of .387. The Cubs won the last meeting 6-0. Jose Quintana notched his fifth victory and Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs for Chicago. Castillo took his third loss for Cincinnati.
TOP PERFORMERS: Eugenio Suarez leads the Reds with 31 extra base hits and is batting .245. Yasiel Puig is 11-for-36 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.
Baez leads the Cubs with 43 extra base hits and is batting .285. Jason Heyward is 13-for-33 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 5-5, .251 batting average, 4.40 ERA, outscored by two runs
Cubs: 5-5, .246 batting average, 4.15 ERA, outscored opponents by three runs
Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 60-day IL (back), Wandy Peralta: 10-day IL (hip), Tucker Barnhart: 10-day IL (oblique).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: 60-day IL (hand), Brandon Morrow: 60-day IL (elbow), Kyle Hendricks: 10-day IL (shoulder), Cole Hamels: 10-day IL (oblique), Kendall Graveman: 60-day IL (elbow), Carl Edwards Jr.: 10-day IL (shoulder), Xavier Cedeno: 10-day IL (wrist).