Reds vs. Giants: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Austin Slater #13 of the San Francisco Giants slides safely past Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Austin Slater #13 of the San Francisco Giants slides safely past Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 26: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Giants.

Sonny Gray (0-2 3.55 ERA) gets the call in the series opener, while San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler will counter with Logan Webb (2-3 4.74 ERA). Gray is coming off an uncharacteristic rough outing courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Even though he surrendered just one run, he failed to escape the fifth inning as he allowed seven hits and two walks to a mediocre Pirate lineup. It marked the third time in five starts this season in which Gray could not complete five frames of work.

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In three career starts against the Giants, the Cincinnati right-hander is unbeaten with 17 punch outs in 18 innings. However, San Francisco third baseman Evan Longoria has long been a thorn in Gray’s side. The longtime Tampa Bay Ray is slashing .303/.343/.515 in 33 at-bats versus the Vanderbilt alum.

Logan Webb, who will be making his first career start against the Reds, is coming off an impressive performance versus the Texas Rangers. Tossing six innings, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed just three hits and one earned run while fanning 10 Rangers.

Tuesday night finds Luis Castillo (1-5 7.71 ERA) trying to right the ship once again as he faces former teammate Anthony DeSclafani (3-1 2.14 ERA) of the Giants. Castillo’s struggles to begin 2021 have been well chronicled by Blog Red Machine so let’s focus on his dominance of San Francisco over his career.

He’s 2-0 in four starts with 36 strikeouts in only 24.2 innings of work when battling San Francisco.  Giants’ first baseman Brandon Belt is hitless against La Piedra in nine at-bats while fanning four times.

After spending five seasons in the Queen City, Anthony DeSclafani makes his return to Great American Ball Park.  Disco is off to a great start on the West Coast; however, GABP has not always been welcoming. In his 57 games in the stadium, he’s 19-22 with a 4.62 ERA. Let’s hope history repeats.

Left-hander Wade Miley (4-3 3.69 ERA) will toe the rubber Wednesday, battling yet another former Redleg in Kevin Gausman (3-0 1.84 ERA). As unforgettable as Miley’s start against the Cleveland Indians was, his last trip to the mound versus the Colorado Rockies was equally forgettable.

Tossing three innings, he was roughed up for 11 hits and eight runs in a Cincinnati defeat. It was Miley’s worst showing of the season by a mile. Hopefully, the sight of Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria will return him to his dominating ways.

The pair of Giants are just 12-for-55 with 14 punch outs against the southpaw. Interestingly, Miley has not dropped a decision to San Francisco since 2014, when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kevin Gausman has been nothing short of sensational to open the 2021 season. Currently ranked fourth in ERA (1.84) and fifth in WHIP (0.839), the right-hander makes a strong, early-season case for the NL Cy Young Award.

Nevertheless, the Cincinnati Reds have treated their former teammate rudely. In four career starts against the Redlegs, he’s winless and has been scorched for 28 hits in 18.2 innings while compiling an 11.09 ERA.

Thursday afternoon’s matinee finale will feature Tyler Mahle (2-1 2.93 ERA) opposing Johnny Cueto (2-1 3.62 ERA), the former longtime Cincinnati ace. After complaining about Mahle’s lack of efficiency, he went out and pitched a terrific game against the Colorado Rockies.

Completing seven innings for the first time this year, the California native failed to issue a walk and tossed just 93 pitches to the 28 batters he faced. Even though he recorded only four strikeouts, this is the Tyler Mahle the Reds will need to see moving forward. Going deeper into games and reducing the stress on the bullpen.

Johnny Cueto and Great American Ball Park are a match made in heaven. Lifetime the Dominican Republic native is an incredible 48-23 with a 2.97 ERA in 100 starts in the Queen City. As much as I love Johnny Cueto, here’s hoping he leaves Cincinnati with his 24th loss.