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Reds at Cubs, Game 1 - Preview and Lineups

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Cincinnati heads to Chicago for a pivotal 3 game series.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It’s been so incredibly long since the Cincinnati Reds played in a playoff game that I barely even remember what it’s like. So, it’s with a bit of hesitancy that I say that when they take the field in Wrigley Field tonight that it will be a ‘playoff environment,’ but there’s certainly a decent case to be made there.

The Reds and the Chicago Cubs start a 3 game series tonight, and if the last place Reds get swept by the first place Cubs this week, they’ll be a full 9.5 games back in the NL Central. And with a cavalcade of free agents to-be and the July 31st trade deadline just two weeks away, not getting wins in this series could well be the nail in the coffin for this edition of the Reds.

Of course, ripping off 3 wins in a row would leave them just 3.5 games out of the division lead, and the exact opposite scenario could develop. Point is, this is perhaps the most pivotal series the Reds have been a part of in the last six seasons, and they enter it with their ace on the mound.

Luis Castillo will get the ball rolling for the Reds as the starter tonight, and boy do the Reds ever need him to pitch like the All Star he is. He’ll be countered by Kyle Hendricks, the soft-tosser who has largely mastered how to pitch to the swing-happy Reds lineup of late, which certainly won’t make things easy.

First pitch is set for 8:05 PM ET. Go Reds, go.

Cincinnati Lineup

Chicago Lineup