Jun. 23, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reds vs. A's Preview

The Reds’ upcoming series against the Oakland A’s will likely give some hope to Cincinnati fans after being slaughtered 2 out of 3 games in their most recent series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The losses place the Reds’ back by 6.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cardinals.

In June, the A’s swept the series against the Reds so our guys really need to get their bats going. I saw a slight glimmer of batting and offensive hope in the St. Louis series but it just wasn’t enough to make up for being so far behind and still in third place. Game One will have Dan Straily against Mat Latos. Straily has pitched seven innings in only three of the last ten starts. Latos has become an ace for the Reds so this gives me hope as far as the pitching match-up goes.

Game two will pit Bartolo Colon against Homer Bailey. No-no. I need say no more. This also gives me hope. Earlier in the year against the A’s, Bailey allowed four runs over six innings. However, his last attempt was one of his best as he pitched 8.1 innings and shut out the San Diego Padres.

Speaking of Homer Bailey, the A’s Seth Smith will likely have a hot bat at the plate. Smith is 6 for 14 with three home runs while Brandon Moss also has had success against Bailey with three hits in eleven at-bats. For the Reds, we can be sure Brandon Phillips, Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto will be swinging for the fences.

The good news? The A’s have seriously been struggling lately with the Texas Rangers closing in on them quickly for first place in the AL West. In their last home-stand the A’s have lost four out of five. The last two series’ the Reds have played haven’t been great, admittedly, but with the A’s having so much trouble I’m thinking our guys will find their way to the top of the scoreboard when the game hits the 9th inning.

Here’s some numbers for the sabermetric guys out there to keep noted for game one in this series. Mat Latos HAS to pitch a strike on his first toss. After an 0-1 count, batters are only hitting .197 vs. Latos. However, if his first pitch is a ball then batters are hitting .283 against him. With RISP, Latos has kept opponents at around a .185 batting average. Finally, in 138 innings Latos has obtained 142 strikeouts. Yes. Yes I do vote that Mat Latos is the Reds “ace”. Wholeheartedly.

Anyone else with me on this bandwagon?

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds Oakland A's

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