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

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 28: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Cardinals

Rookie Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1 1.80 ERA) will make his second big league start against Adam Wainwright (3-4 4.22 ERA), who’ll be making his 404th career start for the Cardinals in tonight’s opener. Reds Country can only hope Gutierrez’s second start goes as well as his debut.

Tossing five innings versus the Chicago Cubs, the right-hander allowed only two hits, including a solo homer in the Reds 1-0 loss to the North Siders. Facing the best two teams in the division to open his career can only fill the rookie with confidence if he’s able to shut down the Redbirds.

No team has hung more L’s on Adam Wainwright than the Cincinnati Reds. His 14 defeats are the most against any opponent. In addition, his 5.35 career ERA versus the Redlegs is his highest against any opponent he’s faced more than twice. Needless to say, the Reds love facing Waino.

Here we go again. Luis Castillo (1-8 7.22 ERA) takes the mound Friday as the Redbirds counter with Kwang Hyun Kim (1-3 3.65 ERA). The good news is La Piedra’s two earned runs he allowed in his last start as the fewest he’s surrendered since an April 20th start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reds Country have turned themselves blue holding their breath for a vintage Luis Castillo start this season. Our only hope is La Piedra uses whatever potion he serves to Tyler O’Neill is contagious. The St. Louis outfielder is 2-for-16 lifetime versus Luis Castillo. Of course, both of those hits are long balls.

Kwang Hyun Kim has earned only one victory this season, and naturally, it came versus the Cincinnati Reds on April 23rd as he whiffed eight in just 5.2 innings allowing only one run. In three career starts against the Redlegs, he’s undefeated, having surrendered just the one run in 16.2 frames. Good luck, La Piedra.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has yet to name a starter for Saturday afternoon’s tilt as David Bell will send his best Tyler Mahle (4-2 3.42 ERA) to the hill. Excluding two poor starts at the hands of the Cubs and Giants, the Reds right-hander hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start this season.

In Mahle’s 11 starts his year, the Reds are 8-3. That’s the definition of a stopper. This is not news to Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman. The two Cardinals’ infielders are a combined 2-for-19 in their career against the California native.

Sunday’s matinee series finale will feature Wade Miley (5-4 3.26 ERA) as John Gant (4-3 1.60 ERA) get the starring role for the Redbirds.  The Cincinnati left-hander is coming off a solid start on Memorial Day following a stint on the 10-day IL.

Miley hurled six innings of one-run baseball as the Reds coasted to a holiday victory.  Making his second start versus the Cardinals this year, we can only hope for a similar performance to his first outing.  Even though he was saddled with the loss, he surrendered only two runs over six effective frames.

Cardinals right-hander John Gant has a 1.60 ERA, and I have no idea how.  Tossing 50.2 innings, he’s walked 34 and given up 43 hits.  He’s the only pitcher on the planet with such a ridiculously low ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.  The clock will strike midnight sooner or later for Gant, and Sunday looks like the perfect opportunity for that to happen.