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

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 17: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 17: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 26: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds look to cool off a red-hot San Diego Padres squad.

Payback comes in the form of many fashions; however, as the Padres make their annual visit to the Queen City, the only retribution the Cincinnati Reds (39-38) should be seeking are victories.  Less than two weeks ago, San Diego swept a four-game set from the Reds, who were riding a six-game winning streak, at Petco Park. Since that series, the Redlegs have been stuck in neutral.

Cincinnati is 4-3 over their last seven contests and can ill afford to fall further behind in the National League Central race. Entering play today, the Reds trail the first-place Milwaukee Brewers by six games as the calendar prepares to flip to July.

Considering the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres all play in the National League West, it would take a miracle for the Reds to qualify for a Wild Card spot. But if that’s the route the Reds need to go, this series takes on even greater significance.

San Diego currently owns the second Wild Card berth in the NL with seven games separating them and the Redlegs. Barring a complete collapse, the Padres are going to be playing in October. As of Monday, Baseball Reference gives the Friars a 92.4% chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

The Padres (47-33) have done more than their fair share to earn such confidence. Coming off a 9-1 homestand, San Diego is praying similar results follow them as they leave Southern California. However, the road has not been as smooth for the Padres this season.

Sporting a 17-18 mark away from Petco Park, the Friars are hardly the same intimidating crew that thrive at home. Fortunately, for the Redlegs, they’ve taken advantage of San Diego’s recent visits to Great American Ball Park.

The Reds have not dropped a series at GABP to San Diego since the 2016 campaign when the Padres beat up on left-handers Cody Reed and Brandon Finnegan. In other words, it’s been a while since the Padres have left Cincinnati feeling good about themselves.