Reds vs Brewers: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 27: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during game one of a doubleheader at Miller Park on August 27, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several sporting leagues across the nation are resuming their schedules after player walkouts done in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 27: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during game one of a doubleheader at Miller Park on August 27, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several sporting leagues across the nation are resuming their schedules after player walkouts done in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game against the Kansas City Royals.
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 11: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs Brewers

Monday night’s series opener is a huge game and Reds manager David Bell is giving the ball to his hottest pitcher, Luis Castillo (3-5 3.03 ERA). La Piedra has a tough task in front of him as Brandon Woodruff (2-4 3.45 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Brewers. If Castillo is able to duplicate his recent success, the Reds should be on the smiling side of the scoreboard.

In his last three starts, Castillo is 3-0 and has allowed just three runs in 23 innings. Additionally, he’s fanned 24 and looked as dominant as ever. Although, Castillo’s normal dominance has not impressed the Brewers. La Piedra is 1-3 with a 5.04 ERA in his last five outings against Milwaukee. Tonight is the perfect opportunity to prove the Beer Makers are not his kryptonite.

Right-hander Brandon Woodruff hasn’t won a game in the nearly a month, but, of course, that lone victory came in an August 25th contest at Miller Park when he defeated the Redlegs by tossing six innings of two-run ball and fanning eight.

Reds legend Joey Votto has been Woodruff’s nemesis over the years.  The Cincinnati Reds first baseman is 6-for-14 with two homers lifetime against the 2019 All-Star. Votto has been the Reds hottest hitter of late.

Sonny Gray (5-3 3.94 ERA) makes his return to the mound Tuesday night following a stint on the IL due to back stiffness. Gray will square off against southpaw Brett Anderson (3-3 4.38 ERA) of the Brewers. Anyone in Reds Country who has watched Sonny Gray over the past two years could tell something was not clicking with their ace in his last two appearances.

Throwing a total of four innings, Gray allowed 11 runs on as many hits while walking six and striking out five. That’s not the Sonny Gray that Reds Country has become accustomed to seeing.  Let’s hope Gray returns to his normal fantastic self. Before his last two starts, he was cruising towards Cy Young contention once again with a 5-1 record and a 1.94 ERA. This is the Sonny Gray the Reds need Tuesday night.

Soft tossing left-hander Brett Anderson has struggled in his two previous starts at GABP. The 12-year veteran is 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA and an eyebrow-raising 1.76 WHIP over 9.2 innings. Look for David Bell to load the lineup with right-handed bats versus Anderson. Righties are slashing .296/.336/.472 against the Oklahoma native. I’m pretty sure we’ll see Aristides Aquino in Tuesday’s lineup.

Pitching on three-days rest, Trevor Bauer (4-4 1.80 ERA) will oppose Adrian Houser (1-5 5.33 ERA) in Wednesday night’s series finale. Bauer will be starting just his third game over his nine-year carer on three-days rest. In his previous two starts on short rest, he’s tossed just a combined nine innings allowing 11 hits and surrendering three round-trippers.

Even though Bauer has been a vocal advocate for pitching on three-days rest, let’s hope history does not repeat itself. Don’t expect to see the newly acquired Daniel Vogelbach in the Brewers lineup Wednesday night. Bauer has simply overwhelmed the burly left-handed slugger in their past matchups. Vogelbach is hitless in nine at-bats against the Reds right-hander with four punchouts.

Milwaukee right-hander Adrian Houser is not what you would refer to as an innings eater. During the month of September, he’s logged five innings just once in four starts. The Redlegs rocked Houser in their one meeting this year. Scoring four runs in as many innings, the Reds collected nine hits and a free pass against Houser. Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker have each taken him deep twice in a combined 17 at-bats.