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

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 01: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Royals

Rookie Vladimir Gutierrez (3-3 4.93 ERA) gets the call in the opening facing Mike Minor (6-6 5.33 ERA) of the Royals. It was a tough outing for Gutierrez during this last trip to the mound as an explosive San Diego Padres lineup pounded the right-hander for three home runs and six runs in just 4.1 innings of work.

Minus his two appearances against the Padres, Gutierrez has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his five other starts. However, consistently throwing strikes has been an issue for the Cuban. Gutierrez has issued at least two free passes in each of his seven starts and walked 19 in 38.1 frames on the season.

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It’s been a tough year for 33-year-old Mike Minor. The left-hander has struggled mightily when he falls behind in the count. Opposing hitters are hitting .533 with a 1.133 slugging rate when getting ahead 2-1 in the count versus the southpaw. So patience will be paramount for the Reds lineup tonight.

Luis Castillo (3-10 5.08 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday for the Redlegs. Kansas City Royals’ manager Mike Matheny has yet to announce his starter for the middle game of the three-game series.

After a disastrous first two months of the season, La Piedra is coming off an exceptional June. Making five starts, he compiled an impressive 1.71 ERA over 31.2 innings allowing just 19 hits and only one gopher ball.

Wednesday’s matinee series finale will feature Sonny Gray (1-4 3.27 ERA) battling the Royals’ Brady Singer (3-6 4.74 ERA). Gray was excellent in his first start since returning from the IL against the Chicago Cubs.

Tossing five innings, the Cincinnati right-hander yielded just one run while fanning eight North Siders. Over his career, Gray has dominated Salvador Perez and Carlos Santana. The two KC sluggers are a combined 6-for-37 versus the Vanderbilt alum.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for 24-year-old Brady Singer. Over this last three starts, the right-hander has issued 10 walks in just 11.2 innings. The former first-round pick in the 2018 draft has worked 3.2 innings or less in three of his last four appearances.