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Preview: Reds (67-95) at Cubs (95-68)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: September 15, 2018 4:05 PM EDT
  

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs have a razor-thin margin for error as they attempt to hold onto first place in the National League Central down the stretch.

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So if there was a time when a team that has already experienced its share of injuries this season couldn't afford another setback to its roster, it's now.

Already in a difficult stretch when fatigue has become an issue heading into Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs will have to play the remainder of the regular season without one of their most valuable bullpen arms.

Before Chicago won its third game in its last four with a 3-2 victory over the Reds on Friday, the team announced closer Pedro Strop will be sidelined with a moderate hamstring strain.

"He's been so big for us now," Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters Friday, according to team's official website. "To be without him for the next couple of weeks will be difficult."

As Brandon Morrow -- who started the season as the Cubs' closer before sustaining a bone bruise on his right arm -- moves closer after not pitching since July 18, the Cubs will have to put a new reliever into the closer's role.

Maddon is confident he has plenty of candidates, but that replacing Strop's confident contributions will be a challenge.

Jorge De La Rosa picked up the save in Friday's victory when he stranded the tying runner in scoring position to preserve the Cubs' one-run win over the Cincinnati Reds. Now, Maddon will look for others to follow De La Rosa's lead.

"It's going to be (about) who gets the last three outs based on what happens before that," Maddon said. "And we'll see how it all shakes out."

After being shut down by Matt Harvey early only to get to the Reds for three seventh-inning runs to capture the series opener, the Cubs will attempt to keep rolling behind Jon Lester, who will start in Saturday's matinee.

Lester (15-6, 3.57 ERA) had rediscovered his winning ways before he took a loss in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers when he allowed three runs and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. Lester is 6-1 with a 4.18 ERA in 15 career starts against the Reds.

The Cubs aren't the only ones dealing with injuries to their pitching staff. On Friday, the Reds announced that right-hander Lucas Sims will miss the remainder of the season due to a muscle strain near his shoulder.

Sims sustained the injury last weekend when he pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief against the San Diego Padres and allowed four earned runs and three hits before saying he felt some shoulder discomfort.

Sims was a September call-up and had joined Cincinnati's starting rotation. But interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters Friday that the injury will prevent Sims from pitching.

"These things seem to take a while," Riggleman said, according to the Reds' official website. "I don't know how serious it was."

Cody Reed will take the mound for the Reds on Saturday. Reed (0-2, 5.08) will make just his fifth start of the year. He started the season in bullpen but was part of a shift when the Reds changed their rotation in August.

Reed is coming off a no-decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he allowed three runs and struck out five in four innings. Reed is 0-3 with a 12.79 ERA in five career outings (three starts) against the Cubs.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express
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 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Reds at Cubs
Fri, Sep 14 Final 2 to 3
 Boxscores  •  Recaps
GAME 2
Reds at Cubs
Sat, Sep 15 Final 0 to 1
 Boxscores  •  Recaps
GAME 3
Reds at Cubs
Sun, Sep 16 Final 2 to 1
 Boxscores  •  Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CIN  +190   -120   8.5 
 CHC  -220   +100   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CIN  +177   -115   8.5 
 CHC  -210   -105   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CIN  42%   16%   36% 
 CHC  58%   84%   64% 
Betting Trends by BetOnline.ag
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Sep 14, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 2 Under: 5 
 CHC « 3 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Aug 26, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 0 Under: 9 
 CHC « 9 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Aug 25, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 6 Over: 16 
 CHC « 10 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Aug 24, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 2 Under: 5 
 CHC « 3 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Aug 23, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 1 Under: 8 
 CHC « 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Jul 8, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 5 Over: 11 
 CHC « 6 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Jul 7, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN 7 Over: 15 
 CHC « 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Jul 6, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CIN « 3 Cover: +150 
 CHC 2 Under: 5 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Jun 24, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CHC 6 Over: 14 
 CIN « 8 Cover: +130 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps
 Jun 23, 2018  Score  ATS Results 
 CHC 2 Over: 13 
 CIN « 11 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores  •  Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, Sep 14
 
  •  White Sox at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Blue Jays at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Marlins at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Mets at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
  •  Tigers at Indians
7:10 PM EDT
  •  Athletics at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
  •  Nationals at Braves
7:35 PM EDT
  •  Reds at Cubs
8:05 PM EDT
  •  Pirates at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
  •  Diamondbacks at Astros
8:10 PM EDT
  •  Twins at Royals
8:15 PM EDT
  •  Dodgers at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
  •  Mariners at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
  •  Rangers at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
  •  Rockies at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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