The Chicago Cubs, after taking game one, continue their series tonight in Cincinnati taking on the Reds at 5:40 Central from The Great American Ballpark. The Reds are favorites at -126 and the over/under is 9. On the mound for the Cubs is Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA) and opposing him will be righty, Sonny Gray (0-4, 3.92 ERA). The Cubs took game one 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The Cubs come in with a very rested bullpen after having the day off Monday and Tuesdays’ starter Kyle Hendricks going 8 strong innings. They are probably going to need multiple arms tonight to get through the game. Although Darvish is starting, the Cubs might as well employ 5 ½ starters as long man Mike Montgomery seems to come in after Darvish. In his last outing, Darvish went 4 innings and Montgomery went the rest of the way in a Cubs 4-1 win. If the Cubs choose to employ that strategy again it would be a nice why to cover up for the inconsistent performances of Darvish.
Players to Watch:
Mike Montgomery: He will be called on in all likelihood to spell Darvish sometime around the 5th inning today if not sooner, He will be charged with keeping the Cubs in the game or preserving a led until if/when Joe Maddon decides to go to his bullpen.
Joey Votto: The almost certain future hall of famer homered last night for the Reds only run, although he’s having a down year batting only .207, he will eventually catch a hot streak and hit closer to his .308 career average.
Darvish can’t be expected to go deep in this one as he hasn’t gone past the 6th inning in any start this season. He’s also walked at least 3 in each of his last 5 starts, so his pitch count will likely rise fast. However, I expect Mike Montgomery to pick up the win in relief going at least 2 innings after Darvish leaves. Take the Cubs and the over.
Score: Cubs 7 Reds 4, Cubs and Over 9