Mahle, Reds to face Darvish, Cubs on Saturday
Cincinnati Reds (23-27, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (29-20, first in the NL Central)
Chicago; Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Reds: Tyler Mahle (1-5, 3.51 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 54 strikeouts) Cubs: Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.06 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 62 strikeouts)
The Cubs are 9-7 against teams from the NL Central. The Chicago offense has compiled a .259 batting average as a team this season, good for sixth in the MLB. Willson Contreras leads the team with an average of .317.
The Reds are 7-13 against opponents from the NL Central. Cincinnati’s lineup has 69 home runs this season, Eugenio Suarez leads the club with 14 homers. The Reds won the last meeting 6-5. David Hernandez earned his first victory and Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for Cincinnati. Steve Cishek took his second loss for Chicago.
TOP PERFORMERS: Javier Baez leads the Cubs with 60 hits and has 33 RBIs. Kris Bryant is 16-for-41 with three doubles, four home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
Suarez leads the Reds with 24 extra base hits and is batting .251. Puig is 8-for-29 with three home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 5-5, .282 batting average, 4.58 ERA, outscored opponents by eight runs
Reds: 5-5, .238 batting average, 4.75 ERA, outscored by six runs
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), Xavier Cedeno: 10-day IL (wrist inflammation), Tony Barnette: 60-day IL (shoulder).
Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 10-day IL (back), Zach Duke: 10-day IL (right calf strain), Scooter Gennett: 60-day IL (groin), Alex Blandino: 10-day IL (knee).