Reds vs Cubs: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 29: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 29: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park.
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 4: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs Cubs

A myriad of issues has led the Cincinnati Reds to only confirm two starting pitchers for this weekend series. Due to the doubleheader yesterday in Milwaukee and another one scheduled for tomorrow, in addition to Anthony DeSclafani being on paternity leave, manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson may resort to drawing names out of hats.

Tyler Mahle (0-1 4.41 ERA) toes the rubber in Friday nights opener opposing veteran Kyle Hendricks (3-3 3.55 ERA) of the Cubs. The Reds right-hander will be making his second 2020 appearance versus the North Siders. He tossed four innings allowing two runs in relief of Wade Miley on July 28th.

More from Blog Red Machine

Interestingly, it’s been left-handed hitters who have been struggling against the Reds right-hander this season. Mahle has limited lefties to a .152/.275/.212 slash line and has fanned ten of the 40 lefties he’s faced.

Cubs manager David Ross would be doing Jason Heyward a favor by giving him Friday night off.  The Cubbies outfielder is 2-for-15 lifetime versus the Cincinnati Reds 25-year-old right-hander.

Kyle Hendricks and the Reds need no introduction. Making 18 starts over his career against the Redlegs, he’s 6-4 with 4.21 ERA. However, Great American Ball Park has been a nightmare for the right-hander. He’s compiled a 6.57 ERA in the Queen City in nine starts and his last two appearances have been especially atrocious.

In his last seven innings at GABP, he’s allowed a staggering 19 hits and 13 runs while giving up four homers. If Joey Votto is going to get right, tonight is a perfect opportunity. The Reds first baseman has produced a remarkable .367/.558/.767 slash line with three home runs versus  Hendricks. The 13 free passes Votto has received from Hendricks are by far the most walks he’s issued to an opposing player.

Here’s what we know regarding Saturday’s doubleheader. Trevor Bauer (3-1 1.65 ERA) will be pitching one of the contests and the Cubs Yu Darvish (5-1 1.70 ERA) is going to start one of the games. Will they be facing each other? Who knows, but if they do, it could be a battle for the NL Cy Young Award.

Bauer is looking to bounce back after suffering his first loss of the season Monday in Milwaukee. The right-hander is currently second in strikeouts and  ERA, just ahead of Darvish who is third, and leads the NL with a 0.735 WHIP. The success he’s had against right-handed hitters this year is otherworldly.

Righties are slashing a meager .073/.177/.091 when facing Bauer. In 62 plate appearance against right-handed batters, Bauer has allowed just four hits and one extra-base hit. Calling his performance dominant is not a strong enough word.

As great as Trevor Bauer has been, Yu Darvish has been nearly as good. The 34-year-old is sixth on the senior circuit with a 0.919 WHIP and his 44 strikeouts are good enough for eighth. A four-time All-Star, Darvish has been solid in his career at GABP.

Making four starts, he’s 1-1 with 3.86 ERA in the hitter friendly confines. Hurling 23.1 innings, Darvish has allowed only 15 hits and has fanned a whopping 32 Redlegs. Something worth noting is that Jesse Winker is 0-for-8 lifetime against Darvish.  Look for that to change over the weekend.