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

CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 23: Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Luis Urias #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 23: Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Luis Urias #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds walks across the field.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 01: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds walks across the field. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Brewers.

Tyler Mahle (7-3 3.63 ERA) gets the call tonight, opposing Adrian Houser (5-5 3.94 ERA) of the Brew Crew. The Cincinnati right-hander was sensational in his last outing against the Brewers.

Tossing six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball, Mahle equaled his career-high of 12 strikeouts during a June 16th start at American Family Field. Those dozen K’s match his previous high he established in a June 2018 contest versus these very same Brewers.

Even though he’s just 1-3 with a 6.65 ERA in his last five starts against the Redlegs, Adrian Houser worked a gem his last time against Cincinnati. Pitching 5.1 frames, the right-hander allowed only one run. After that, however, danger awaits Houser.

Cincinnati’s All-Star left fielder Jesse Winker is 9-for-16 lifetime versus Houser with a whopping five round-trippers. Not to be outdone, the Reds other All-Star outfielder, Nick Castellanos, is hitting .353 versus the Milwaukee starter.

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Left-hander Wade Miley (6-4 3.06 ERA) makes his first start against the Brewers this season Friday night. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell will counter with fellow lefty Eric Lauer (3-3 4.11 ERA). So how good has Miley been on the road this season? In a word, fantastic.

Making seven starts on enemy soil this year, Miley has compiled an excellent 3.00 ERA by allowing 14 runs in 42 innings. Even more impressive is the fact that eight of those 14 runs came in one start against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. I’m no math expert, but outside of the one start in Colorado, that’s six runs surrendered in as many starts.

Southpaw Eric Lauer will most likely have a restless night of sleep Thursday evening. The 26-year-old left-hander is 0-3 with a 5.57 ERA in his last five starts against the Reds. Although, one Redleg not looking forward to seeing Lauer is Eugenio Suarez. Geno has two hits in 11 at-bats with six punchouts in his career versus the Brewer starter.

Rookie Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3 4.67 ERA) battles Freddy Peralta (7-3 2.23 ERA) of the Brewers Saturday night. Looking for a good omen Reds Country? Half of Gutierrez’s four career wins are against Milwaukee.

The right-handed Cuban is 2-0 versus the Beer Makers with 13 punchouts in as many innings this year. Brewers Avisail Garcia and Omar Narvaez are a combined 1-for-11 against Gutierrez in his brief career.

As good as Peralta has been this year, the Redlegs have made him work. In three starts versus the Reds this year, the right-hander has escaped the fifth inning just once. Patience has been a key for Cincinnati. Peralta has issued six free passes in 15.2 frames against the Reds in the 2021 campaign.

Sunday’s matinee series finale will feature Luis Castillo (3-10 4.81 ERA) squaring off against All-Star Brandon Woodruff (7-4 2.10 ERA) of Milwaukee. So, Reds Country, it’s finally safe to say La Piedra is back.

Over his last six starts, covering 39 innings, Castillo has allowed just 24 hits and one home run. However, La Piedra finding his groove is not news to the Brewers. During a June 15th start in Milwaukee, the Brew Crew failed to plate a run versus the Reds’ right-hander in seven innings.

Right-hander Brandon Woodruff is making his 2021 debut versus the Redlegs. If history is any indication, look for the Milwaukee starter to pile up strikeouts. Over his last 28.2 frames against the Redlegs, Woodruff has fanned 40.

Don’t expect to see Shogo Akiyama in manager David Bell’s starting lineup Sunday. The Cincinnati outfielder is hitless in eight at-bats versus Woodruff with five strikeouts. The All-Star break should come a day early for Shogo.