Reds vs Brewers: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 09: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds forces out Keston Hiura. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 09: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds forces out Keston Hiura. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Starting pitcher Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – AUGUST 19: Starting pitcher Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs Brewers

I know it’s difficult for Reds Country to feel too comfortable entering any contest, but Monday is the night to walk tall Reds fans. The reason for all this optimism is Trevor Bauer (3-0 0.68 ERA) will be on the hill facing Brett Anderson (1-2 3.71 ERA) of Milwaukee. The record and ERA only begin to tell the story of Bauer’s dominance.

He currently leads the NL in ERA and places seventh with 41 strikeouts. Also, his completely unsustainable ERA+ of 718 is so far beyond his closest competitor Max Fried’s mark of 363. It’s ridiculous! Bauer handily disposed of the Brewers earlier this month, allowing just one run in six innings he fanned a dozen Milwaukee hitters in a Reds 8-3 triumph.

Southpaw Brett Anderson struggled in his start against the Cincinnati Reds earlier this season. Lasting just 3.2 innings, Anderson allowed three runs on four hits while walking two. Anderson has not earned a victory against the Redlegs since 2015 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Luis Castillo (0-3 4.44 ERA) squares off against Milwaukee’s ace Brandon Woodruff (1-2 3.23 ERA) Tuesday night at Miller Park. The numbers on the surface aren’t pretty for La Piedra. However, if you dig a little deeper, it appears that Castillo is closer to his former dominant self than what the numbers would have us believe.

Despite accumulating a 4.44 ERA Castillo, is third among NL hurlers with a 2.05 FIP trailing only teammate Trevor Bauer and the Mets stopper Jacob deGrom. In addition, his 0.3 HR/9 rate is tied for second in the league while his 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings is good enough for fifth among all NL starters. Lady luck eventually has to shine on Castillo and hopefully, that’s Tuesday night.

Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff has the distinction of starting the only game Sonny Gray has lost this season. However, Woodruff was far from perfect during that August 9th start. Tossing just four innings, he surrendered two runs on three hits including a homer to Jesse Winker in a 9-3 Milwaukee victory.

Speaking of Sonny Gray, (4-1 2.21 ERA) he’ll toe the rubber Wednesday night opposing Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser (1-2 3.72 ERA). Gray has continued his dominating ways throughout the 2020 campaign. He currently ranks in the NL Top 10 in ERA and innings pitched with 36.2, while leading the senior circuit with 51 strikeouts.

His last start against the Brew Crew is probably one he would like to have back. Tossing just 5.1 innings, Gray allowed four runs on six hits and issued three free passes. Look for that start to provide all the motivation Gray needs to exact his revenge.

Houser has faced the Reds five times in his career and twice as a starter. Reds sluggers Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez have treated the righty poorly. Each is hitting .429 in seven career at-bats while two of Geno’s three hits have cleared the fence for souvenirs. This seems like the perfect opportunity for the Reds offense to get healthy.

For Thursday’s finale, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell has yet to name a starter while the Brewers will send Josh Lindblom (1-1 6.65 ERA) to the mound. It’s been tough going in 2020 for the 33-year-old Milwaukee starter.

Much of Lindblom’s anguish is being caused by left-handed batters. Lefties are slashing .333/.429/.708 with five homers versus Lindblom. Look for Shogo Akiyama to collect his first MLB round-tripper Thursday night.