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

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 25: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds bats runs to third base after an error in the 8th inning against the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 25: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds bats runs to third base after an error in the 8th inning against the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – AUGUST 17: Vladimir Gutierrez #53 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Tigers

Vladimir Gutierrez (9-5 4.03 ERA) toes the rubber in the opener as the Tigers counter with Tyler Alexander (2-2 4.34 ERA). The Cincinnati right-hander is looking to bounce back after the Miami Marlins shellacked him for five runs and seven hits in three innings during his last outing.

Nevertheless, Gutierrez has been outstanding in his seven starts compiling a 2.81 ERA in 41.2 frames. His next victory will make him the first Reds rookie to hit double digits in the win column since Scott Williamson during the 1999 season.

Detroit’s Tyler Alexander has been on quite a roll. The left-hander has held opponents to two runs or less in three of his last four appearances. However, right-handers give the Tigers southpaw trouble. Righties are slashing .284/.321/.502 with 11 bombs versus the 27-year-old Texan.

Saturday night finds Tyler Mahle (10-5 3.64 ERA) battling Matthew Boyd (3-7 3.50 ERA) of the Tigers. It was another typical strong road performance for the Cincinnati right-hander his last time out.

Tossing seven hits of two-run four-hit ball with six strikeouts, Mahle was the hard-luck loser as the Reds managed to dent the plate just once against the Marlins. The California native defeated Detroit in his only appearance against the Tigers, allowing just two runs in six frames in June 2018 at Great American Ball Park.

Don’t let the 3.50 ERA fool you; Matthew Boyd has been awful as of late. The veteran left-hander has posted a 5.45 ERA in his last seven starts and has failed to complete five innings in three of his last four outings. In addition, Joey Votto has taken the southpaw deep twice in nine at-bats lifetime.

Sunday’s matinee series finale with feature Luis Castillo (7-14 4.30 ERA) opposing Casey Mize (7-7 3.59 ERA) of Detroit. Inconsistency continues to haunt La Piedra during the 2021 campaign.

Following June and July, where he compiled ERA’s of 1.71 and 2.15, respectively, Castillo was belted around last month, surrendering more homers, five, than he had in the previous two months combined and saddled with a troubling 4.58 ERA. Looking for a positive sign? La Piedra is 5-6 with a solid 3.57 ERA when pitching in the Queen City this year.

Rookie Casey Mize is living up to the hype. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft has produced a terrific 1.15 WHIP in 135.1 innings. However, he does struggle versus lefties. Left-handed batters are slashing .258/.331/.533 with 16 homers and 10 doubles against the Auburn alum.