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Series preview: Reds at Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs open a series with the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

Monday: Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 2.60) vs. Alfredo Simon (10-3, 3.05), 7:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Jake Arrieta (3-1, 1.98) vs. Homer Bailey (7-3, 4.68), 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday: Edwin Jackson (5-7, 5.12) vs. Mat Latos (0-0, 3.86), 6:05 p.m.

Samardzija: The scouts will be watching the right-hander as his days as a Cub are seemingly numbered leading into the July 31 trade deadline. At this point it's just about who's willing to ante up the most for him as long as he stays healthy. Samardzija's June actually hasn't been that impressive with an ERA of 5.73 through four starts, although he didn't give up any earned runs in his last appearance against the Miami Marlins. On Tuesday, Bailey and his $105 million deal will be on the mound at Wrigley. That's the contract believed to be used as the parameters for a Samardzija deal.

Who's Hot/Who's Not: Outfielder Chris Coghlan has finally started to contribute on offense. He had a home run and a triple to go along with two walks and three runs scored over the weekend. Luis Valbuena has slowed down going 1-for-13 without a base on balls in the series against the Pirates. If he's not hitting, taking walks is Valbuena's game, but his on-base percentage has come down (.365) since reaching a high of nearly .400 on the last road trip.