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

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – AUGUST 16: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Marlins

Luis Castillo (6-12 4.51 ERA) takes the mound in tonight’s opener. Miami manager Don Mattingly has yet to announce his starter. It was a decent outing the last time our for La Piedra as he tossed 6.2 innings of five-hit three-run baseball against the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, the Reds didn’t collect their first hit until the eighth inning, so despite whiffing eight Phillies, Castillo took the loss in a Reds 6-1 defeat.

Over his career, Castillo has dominated the Marlins. The former Miami farmhand is 3-0 in four career starts against the Fish with a sparkling 1.84 ERA in 29.1 frames. However, one area of concern for La Piedra lately has been the long ball. The right-hander has been taken deep six times in his last four outings.

Friday night finds Sonny Gray (4-6 4.47 ERA) on the bump as he squares off against Elieser Hernandez (0-0 2.84 ERA) of the Marlins. The 2021 season has been frustrating for the Cincinnati right-hander, and his last start was a microcosm of his season.

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Handed a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth versus the Phillies on Sunday, Gray could not escape the frame after allowing two runs to cross and handing the ball to Lucas Sims to help preserve an eventual Cincinnati victory. The two-time All-Star has failed to complete five innings an astonishing eight times in 18 starts.

Miami’s Elieser Hernandez has been impressive in a trio of 2021 starts. Even though he’s only compiled 12.2 innings, he’s issued just one free pass against 13 strikeouts while posting an excellent 0.79 WHIP. This will be the 26-year-old Venezuelan’s first career start versus the Redlegs.

David Bell hands the ball to his most dependable starter Saturday night as Wade Miley (10-4 2.84 ERA) gets the call. Miami has not yet announced a starter for the third of the four-game set. The last time out was another typical Wade Miley performance.

For the third time in his last seven starts, the left-hander tossed a minimum of seven shutout frames. You don’t have to remind the Marlins of Miley’s excellence. In his last five starts versus the Fish, the Louisiana native hasn’t surrendered a homer and has allowed just 21 hits in 34 innings while compiling a microscopic 1.59 ERA.

Sunday’s matinee series finale will feature Vladimir Gutierrez (8-4 3.87 ERA) battling Miami’s Sandy Alcantara (7-11 3.39 ERA). What more can you about Gutierrez? Over his last seven starts, he’s allowed two runs or less an incredible six times.

If there’s been one area of concern for the Cuban right-hander, it’s been his less than stellar performances at GABP. Making six starts in front of the Reds faithful, Gutierrez has allowed 42 hits, including nine round-trippers, in only 33.2 frames resulting in a 5.35 ERA.

Right-hander Sandy Alcantara is coming off a pair of excellent outings. Hurling 15 innings, the 25-year-old Dominican has yielded just nine hits and one earned run. This will be his second career start versus the Reds. Alcantara was on the losing end of a 5-0 Redleg victory in August of 2019, in which The Punisher, Aristides Aquino, took him deep at Marlins Park.