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

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches.
CINCINNATI, OH – JUNE 11: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Twins.

Tyler Mahle (7-2 3.39 ERA) kicks off the series in the Twin Cities tonight as Minnesota counters with J.A. Happ (3-3 6.12 ERA).  The Cincinnati right-hander is coming off a brilliant start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tossing six innings, Mahle allowed just three hits while recording a dozen strikeouts.  Over his last five starts, the California native has allowed two earned runs or less four times without surrendering more than five hits in any of those contests.

In two career starts at Target Field,  Mahle has allowed just two runs in 8.1 innings while punching out 11 Twins’ hitters.  If it’s good vibes you want, he was the starting pitcher last September 25th when the Redlegs punched their postseason ticket.

There’s no way to say it gently; 38-year-old J.A. Happ has been awful in his 15th big league season.  The veteran southpaw has allowed at least four earned runs in six of his last seven starts while being tagged for at least five runs in four contests over that span. So look for both Aristides Aquino and Tyler Stephenson in Monday night’s lineup card for David Bell.

Tuesday afternoon’s series finale will feature Wade Miley (6-4 2.88 ERA) battling Bailey Ober (0-0 3.71 ERA) of the Twins.  Miley’s last start was a typically strong performance from the Louisiana native.  Facing a potent San Diego Padres lineup, the southpaw held the Friars to two runs on four hits over seven strong innings.

Miley has not allowed more than two earned runs in a start since May 14th versus the Colorado Rockies.  In the last four weeks, he’s 2-0  with a 1.80 ERA  to go along with 22 strikeouts in 25 frames.  Ladies and gentlemen, Wade Miley, is on quite a roll.

Right-handed rookie Bailey Ober is still seeking his first career victory as he makes his fifth big league starts.  The 12th round selection by the Twins in the 2017 draft, shown impeccable control since arriving to The Show on May 18th.  Tossing 17 innings, the North Carolina native has recorded 21 strikeouts against just two free passes.