Chicago Cubs

Cubs vs. Reds: Lester, Arrieta Look to Continue Strong Start

After snapping a four-game losing streak with two victories in a row, the Chicago Cubs are getting ready to hit the road as they’ll open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

That game is the first of nine straight that the Cubs will play on the road, and the trip will conclude with a series against Theo Epstein’s old club as the Cubs will battle the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Before they get to Beantown, they first need to take on the surprising Reds at Great American Ballpark, and we have a preview of the series to come.

Friday 6:10 p.m. Lester (0-0) vs. Adleman (0-0)

Lester has had a pretty strong start to the season, giving up just two earned runs and scattering 14 hits over 18 innings of work, but he’s yet to be credited with a win, and he’ll try to break that streak on Friday night when he faces the Reds.

The Reds might be just the team that Lester needs to face to get into the win column. As a team, they’ve batted just .214 against lefties this season, and only Joey Votto has had particularly good results against southpaws, belting three home runs in 14 at-bats so far this season.

Saturday 12:10 p.m. Arrieta (2-0) vs. Reed (1-0)

In a contract year, Arrieta has come out of the gate strong, throwing two quality starts and posting a solid 2.89 ERA in his first three starts. He has also struck out 21 batters, which is the team leader on the Cubs through the opening stages of the regular season.

Cody Reed will make his first start of the season for the Reds on Saturday, and while he’s only had limited action in the early going, he is prone to walks, as he’s issued four free passes in eight innings of work. The Cubs will need to remain patient at the plate, with Ben Zobrist likely keying that effort after getting Friday night off for the Cubs.

Sunday 12:10 p.m. Lackey (1-2) vs. Arroyo (1-2)

Lackey has gotten hit hard early and often for the Cubs this season, giving up four home runs in 18 innings of work. He has struck out 19 batters however, and he’ll be hoping to avoid bats against a tough Reds lineup in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

Adam Duvall has been pounding right-handed pitching for the Reds, as he has already racked up three home runs and 10 RBI, and Scooter Gennett has been just as good, with a pair of home runs and nine RBI against righties in the early going. 

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