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

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: The national anthem before the start of the Philadelphia Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: The national anthem before the start of the Philadelphia Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after the last out.
CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 07: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after the last out. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Phillies

Wade Miley (4-4 3.50 ERA) gets the Memorial Day start opposing Vince Velasquez (2-0 2.95 ERA) of the Phillies. The Cincinnati Reds southpaw returns to the active roster following a stint on the IL due to a left foot sprain.

Hopefully, his nearly two-week absence will allow Miley to regain his form. In his two starts before his trip to the IL, the Louisiana native allowed nine runs and 17 hits in just 7.2 innings. Two Philadelphia veterans who have struggled mightily against the Cincinnati left-hander are Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. Combined, the two Phillies are 6-for-34 lifetime versus Wade Miley.

Velasquez has been on a roll of late for the Phillies. The right-hander has allowed just three runs in his last four starts covering 23 innings. However, it would behoove the Reds to be patient in the batter’s box. Velasquez has issued 22 free passes in only 36.2 frames.

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Tuesday night finds a couple of the league’s best right-handers dueling one another as Sonny Gray (1-3 3.40 ERA) and Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola (3-4 3.72 ERA) meet. Gray is coming off an exceptional start against the Washington Nationals as he tossed six shutout innings to earn his first victory of the season.

Philadelphia is just one of six teams Gray has failed to defeat in his career. Granted, he’s only faced them twice, with each of those starts occurring during the 2019 season. Look for the list of teams to be reduced to five following Tuesday’s start.

If Nick Castellanos’ hitting streak is going to be stopped, don’t be surprised if it comes at the hands of Aaron Nola. Cincinnati’s slugging right-fielder has only one hit in 12 career at-bats versus the Phillies ace with five punchouts.

Wednesday matinee’s series finale will feature Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1 1.80 ERA) squaring off against Spencer Howard (0-1 5.56 ERA) of the Phillies. Gutierrez was tremendous in his MLB debut last Friday, allowing only a solo home run in five innings of work.

As a result of Jeff Hoffman being placed on the IL with a shoulder issue, the fifth spot in the Reds rotation seems to be Gutierrez’s to lose. If the right-hander can muster a similar performance to his debut, Cincinnati should feel confident the final spot of the starting rotation has received an upgrade.

This will be 24-year-old Spencer Howard’s first appearance versus the Reds. In two starts this year, the right-hander has surrendered just two runs in seven frames. However, he has also walked seven hitters. Patience will be the key again in the series finale as Cincinnati hitters must make Howard throw strikes.