Reds vs Brewers: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
ST. LOUIS, MO – JULY 13: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The universal DH has not been a gift for the Reds.

During Spring Training there was great consternation among Reds Country about how the club was going to find enough at-bats for all the outfielders on the roster. Once it was announced that the National League would adopt the DH for the 2020 season, it appeared all of the Cincinnati Reds offensive prayers would be answered.

Instead, it’s been a nightmare. Reds hitters from the DH slot are slashing just .105/.292/.105 without a home run and just one RBI through their first 12 games. For comparison’s sake, Reds pitchers slashed .140/.158/.182 last year.

While nobody’s advocating for Luis Castillo or Sonny Gray to take hacks in the batter’s box, at this point it wouldn’t be much of a departure from the current production the team is receiving. Gray himself had seven hits in 46 at-bats last season, which was good enough for a .152 batting average.

In 11 at-bats as the team’s designated hitter, Christian Colon and Matt Davidson are hitless with one walk between them. Jesse Winker, who has received the majority of the starts at DH, is hitting just .130 entering play last night before collecting two hits in four at-bats in yesterday’s debacle in Cleveland.

Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come. Obviously, the DH numbers are going to improve, but it needs to happen much sooner rather than later. The Reds have options at their alternate site if needed. Aristides Aquino is working at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio and hit 19 homers during his rookie season last year.

Prediction

The Reds need a series win in the worst way. After losing their first two series of the season, Cincinnati appeared to turn a corner with two straight victories over the Detroit Tigers. The Reds followed that up with a series opening win over the Cleveland Indians. That three-game win streak has since turned into a three-game losing streak.

3 takeaways from CIN poor showing vs CLE. Next

Milwaukee versus Cincinnati has been a series dominated by the Brewers in recent seasons. The Reds have not won a season series against the Brew Crew since the 2016 campaign. Expect that trend to be reversed this year, as the Reds take two of three from the Beer Makers to open their 2020 meetings and make the Ohio Cup folly a distant memory.