Stephenson and the Reds host division foe Chicago
Chicago Cubs (25-15, first in the NL Central) vs. Cincinnati Reds (19-24, fifth in the NL Central)
Cincinnati; Thursday, 6 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 46 strikeouts) Reds: Luis Castillo (4-1, 1.76 ERA, .99 WHIP, 70 strikeouts)
LINE: Reds favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: NL Central rivals Cincinnati and Chicago will face off at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds are 4-12 against opponents from the NL Central. The Cincinnati offense has compiled a .216 batting average as a team this season, last in the league. Jose Iglesias leads the team with a mark of .295.
The Cubs are 9-5 against NL Central Division opponents. Chicago has slugged .447, good for fourth in in the MLB. Javier Baez leads the team with a .608 slugging percentage, including 26 extra-base hits and 11 home runs. The Reds won the last meeting 6-5. Amir Garrett secured his third victory and Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBIs for Cincinnati. Brad Brach registered his first loss for Chicago.
TOP PERFORMERS: Suarez leads the Reds with 23 extra base hits and is slugging .577. Iglesias is 11-for-41 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.
Baez leads the Cubs with 11 home runs and is batting .322. Kris Bryant is 14-for-39 with a double, a triple, five home runs and 11 RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 5-5, .229 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 13 runs
Cubs: 7-3, .247 batting average, 2.47 ERA, outscored opponents by 12 runs
Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 10-day IL (back), Scooter Gennett: 60-day IL (groin), Alex Blandino: 10-day IL (knee).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: 10-day IL (hand), Pedro Strop: 10-day IL (hamstring), Brandon Morrow: 60-day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-day IL (elbow), Tony Barnette: 60-day IL (shoulder), Anthony Rizzo: day-to-day (back), Victor Caratini: 10-day IL (hand).