Reds vs Cubs: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 29: Eugenio Suarez #42 of the Cincinnati Reds argues with Anthony Rizzo #42 of the Chicago Cubs causing both benches to clear during the fourth inning.(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 29: Eugenio Suarez #42 of the Cincinnati Reds argues with Anthony Rizzo #42 of the Chicago Cubs causing both benches to clear during the fourth inning.(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch in the first inning.
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 06: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch in the first inning. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Reds rookie has been a pleasant surprise

When you’re the 23rd ranked prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline, 26 years-old and have a history of Tommy John surgery, nothing is guaranteed. Despite having the odds stacked against him, Reds right-hander Tejay Antone has been the club’s Rookie of the Year in 2020.

There’s not much glory to be had as the swingman out of the bullpen, yet Antone has not only filled the role but excelled in it. Making eight appearances, three as a starter, Antone has posted an impressive 2.49 ERA while punching out 33 hitters in just 25.1 innings of work.

Allowing just 13 hits, his hits per nine inning rate of 4.6 trails only Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims on the Reds staff. The early success Antone has attainted is legit as evidenced by his 0.947 WHIP and 3.62 FIP. This showing from Tejay Antone could not have come at a more opportune time for both him and the Reds.

Following this year the Reds front office has some decisions to make. Starters Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani are eligible for free agency. It’s hard to imagine the Reds spending the dollars necessary to re-sign Bauer and this year’s performance from Disco would indicate this is his final dance in a Reds uniform.

As a result, there’s going to be a need to fill at least one vacancy in the rotation. Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo are locks for the 2021 rotation while Tyler Mahle and a healthy Wade Miley seemed to be the leaders for the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. Tejay Antone is making a strong bid for the final rotation slot and based on the early returns, he’s certainly deserving of the opportunity.

Prediction

The Cubs have a 4-3 advantage over the Reds through their first seven games this season. This will be the Redlegs only trip to Wrigley Field in 2020, with an opportunity to remain firmly in playoff contention.

Next. 3 more Reds prospects who could debut in 2020

But, let’s be real. The Reds have done nothing to warrant any confidence from the Reds Country faithful. Look for the Cubbies to take two of three and leave the Reds once again looking for answers on how to salvage their 2020 campaign.