Your favorite rivalry from before the splitting of the divisions, the Cincinnati Reds (61-83) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (78-65) will play three at Great American Ballpark, starting Monday night.
Officially out of the running for a .500, or better, season, the Redlegs will look to stay undefeated against the Dodgers in 2018. They swept LA in Chavez Ravine back in May.The Reds are one loss away from being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. So there’s still some…ok, I am only having fun there, guys. Calm down.
Cincinnati will send Cody Reed, Luis Castillo, and Anthony DeSclafani to the mound in this series.
Cody Reed – He’s still looking for his first career win. He gave up six runs in five innings, against the Pirates, his last time out. His command has been there (only one walk) but his slider failed him, as he allowed nine hits. According to FanGraphs.com, Reed induced a swing-and-miss on just 4.9% of his pitches, in his last start. He will definitely need to improve on that, this time around.
Luis Castillo – Baseball is an unfair game, and Castillo is the most recent example in a long, long…long…list of examples. The man has 149 strikeouts in 148.1 innings pitched. He’s 8-12 with a 4.79 ERA. A stat that I am a fan of, and I’ve used it a lot here, Castillo’s xFIP is 3.71. So he’s getting unlucky, but that’s baseball. We’ll see what he can do tomorrow night.
Anthony DeSclafani – He wants another shot. Got roughed up in his last outing against San Diego, Disco has been, for the most part, the stalwart atop the Reds rotation this year. He enters Wednesday’ start with a winning record (7-4) and a solid walks-plus-hits-per-innings-pitched at 1.27. Fun fact: he’s 10-10 with a 3.98 ERA in day games.
LA comes into the series with a better shot to win the division (0.5 games back) than they have to get a Wild Card spot (1.0 games back). They are insane enigma, having the best run differential in the National League (+132) but trailing the Rockies for the NL West, a team with a negative run differential (-11).
They have five players who currently boast a 3.0 bWAR, or better. Clayton Kershaw (4.3 bWAR), Max Muncy (3.5), Justin Turner (3.4), Chris Taylor (3.4) and Cody Bellinger (3.1) are all trying to lead the Dodgers back to the postseason.
LA acquired Manny Machado before the trade deadline, whose hit .270 with nine homers and 25 RBI since his arrival. Among others in the lineup, former-Redleg Yasmani Grandal, has 22 dingers this season and an OBP of .339.
Cincinnati will face Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and a pitcher-to-be-named-later. The Reds are a combined 1-6 against Wood and Ryu, in their careers.
I’ll be at the game tonight, hoping to see Joey Votto smash a couple of dingers on his birthday. Game time is 6:40 with good seats still available.
Could he? Would he? May he? Things looking slightly up for the Reds prospects of getting Dallas Keuchel.
New Podcast Episode!
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New Year, New LOR
Here is the first episode of your new Locked on Reds podcast hosted by me, Jeff Carr!