Reds schedule: Pitching will be front and center in battle for the Ohio Cup

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 14: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 14: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 07: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Two of the best rotations in baseball meet as the Reds welcome the Indians.

Beginning play Monday night, the Cincinnati Reds (4-5) are coming off their first series victory of the season following yesterday’s doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers. Now the Reds will return home where they are just 2-4 to begin the 2020 campaign after their brief visit to Motown.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians (5-5) are wrapping up their initial road trip of the 2020 season as well after dropping two of three over the weekend to the red-hot Minnesota Twins. The Tribe is hoping the Reds are as hospitable as they were last July.

Cleveland’s starting pitching stifled the Redleg bats and the Indians offense was just as effective in winning both games at Great American Ball Park and outscoring the Reds 18-3. To be honest, the battle for the Ohio Cup has been a one-sided affair in recent years.

The last time the Reds won state bragging rights was during the 2014 season. Since 2015, the Indians have simply overwhelmed the Reds by winning 18 of the 24 contests. Lifetime, Cleveland owns a 63-50 advantage.

However, there are striking similarities between the two teams early in the current campaign. Entering play on Sunday, both pitching staffs lead their respective league in strikeouts as well as strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those are the good numbers.

Unfortunately, the hitting numbers have been ghastly for both units. Beginning play yesterday, the Indians were hitting just .206 as a team, while the Reds are slightly worse sporting a .204 average. Although, the Reds have clubbed twice as many homers, going yard 12 times to just six round-trippers from Cleveland.