Preview for the April 22nd Game
Chicago Cubs (5-12) at Cincinnati Reds (11-8)
The Chicago Cubs will continue on their road trip and head to Cincinnati to face the Reds. The game will be played at Great American Ball Park at 7:10pm eastern time. This will be the first time that the Cubs will face last year’s division winners, who are coming off a 6 and 1 week. The Cubbies will be sending the crafty left-handed Travis Wood to the mound in tomorrow’s game. Wood has three quality starts in three starts this year and has a record of 1-1 with an era of 1.83. Travis Wood has been pitching effectively for the Cubbies and should have more wins to show for in this early year, but he needs to hope the Cubs can score some runs for him to pile up on the wins. If he wants to beat the Reds in his start tomorrow he needs to make sure he prevents the leadoff man for the Reds from getting on base because Shin-Soo Choo has been the best hitter for the Reds thus far. Another thing Wood needs to do in tomorrow’s outing is not allow the Reds to hit homeruns in a hitter’s ballpark.
The opposing probable pitcher is the young, but veteran RHP Mike Leake. Leake has a record of 1-0 with an era of 4.50 and has gone at least 6 innings in all of his starts this season. Mike Leake is coming off his best start where he went seven scoreless innings with just three hits and struck out 7 Phillies batters. The pitches in Leake’s repertoire are a sinker ball which is his best pitch, a slider which he uses to strikeout batters, a cuter that is effective against left-handed hitters, a changeup that he is relying on a lot this season and another fastball to complement his sinker ball. Leake is not going to overpower any hitters, but is an effective pitcher because he pitches low and pitches for contact.
The Cubs hitters will get another crack at a hitter’s ballpark in their series against the Reds and look to do better in this series than the one against the Brewers. The Cubbies will look to take advantage if Mike Leake’s sinker ball doesn’t have any sink to it and if he doesn’t have the excellent command that he usually has. The Cubs fare well against Leake because he is right-handed pitcher and they have done well against him in their previous matchups.
My prediction is the Cubs snap their three game losing streak by beating the Reds with a score of 4-2. The Cubs will score enough runs to pull out a victory and the bullpen will hold down the Reds lineup in order to get a victory. My predicted player of the game is Travis Wood, because I think Wood will get another quality start by pitching 6 innings with 7 strikeouts and will allow just two earned runs. I also predict that Castro adds to his 13 game hitting streak by getting an extra base hit off Mike Leake.