Reds: Tyler Mahle’s performance is key to the stretch run

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 21: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 21: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

With the playoff race is heating up, the Cincinnati Reds have shown no signs of cooling off. Currently holding a one-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the NL Wild Card standings, every part of this team is clicking as the wins continue to pile up. Since July 1st, the Reds have a record of 30-17 and are near the top, if not leading, in many statistical categories.

Sparked by key players returning from injuries, and the rise of new young talent, this is what fans have expected for several seasons. While the pitching staff has been a pleasant surprise, one pitcher in particular is key to a successful playoff push, and that is right-hander Tyler Mahle.

Reds starter Tyler Mahle is having a record year.

Currently leading the team along with Wade Miley with 10 wins, Mahle is having a career-season in many ways. Along with shattering his previous record for wins (7), Mahle has proven that he can handle the workload as his next outing will be a career-high in games started (26) while also having pitched the most innings (135) he has in his career.

Building off of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Tyler Mahle‘s fastball has increased in velocity just a touch while he has successfully decreased his walk-rate. Staying pretty average across the board in other pitching categories, only his Max Exit Velocity has seen a drastic decrease. His last three starts have seen a flux in run support

This offseason, Mahle was subjected to trade rumors and thoughts that he would continue to digress. But, on the contrary, his performance has proven that a contract extension should be at least considered. At 26 years old and having two years of arbitration eligibility remaining, Mahle would fit in well with the wave of talented young pitchers coming up to the show.

Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle has thrived on the road this season.

When looking at Tyler Mahle’s performance at home this season, you would be thinking I’m crazy to advocate for him to be a vital part of us making the playoffs, but hear me out. Sure, Mahle has a 6.00 ERA while giving up 17 home runs in 63 innings pitched, but on the road he’s a completely different pitcher.

In 72.2 innings pitched on the road, Mahle has only given up three home runs leading to a 1.86 ERA. Why does this matter is when glancing at the Wild Card race? The NL West has been a juggernaut this season and the Los Angeles Dodgers currently have a commanding 9.5 game lead on the first Wild Card spot.

If the season were to end today, the Dodgers would be hosting the Reds at Dodger Stadium in a pivotal win or go home scenario. In this spot you want to go with matchups sure, but the numbers Mahle has on the road don’t lie.

Mahle’s next two starts against the Brewers and Marlins are both on the road, and if he continues his road dominance it will be a huge boost to securing a possible postseason berth and his role in the playoffs. His contribution to the rotation this year has been crucial to its success and will be vital as the team looks to hold off the San Diego Padres for that elusive final spot.

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Tyler Mahle will be looking to get his 11th win as the Cincinnati Reds visit the Milwaukee Brewers looking to pick up a game in the NL Central standings. The Beer Makers currently hold a 7.5 game over the Redlegs in the division.