Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija has been one of the few bright spots for the Chicago Cubs in 2012, and as the season wears on he is staking his claim to being a part of Chicago's longterm plans. Since the All-Star break, Samardzija has posted a 2.35 ERA in 38.1 innings across six starts while striking out 41 and walking just 15 batters.
But, there is one caveat: in half of those starts, Samardzija has faced three of the worst offenses in the National League. In his last two starts, he's given up only two earned runs in 14 innings, but those starts came against the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. On Saturday, Samardzija will face the Cincinnati Reds in Great American Ballpark, a proposition that often turns out poorly for opposing pitchers. The good news for Samardzija is that in his lone start there this year, he gave up only one earned run in 7.2 innings.
Game date/time: Saturday, August 18, 12:10 p.m. CT
Location: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio