Probable starting pitchers
The Cincinnati Reds are looking for back-to-back sweeps over two of the most iconic franchises in all of Major League Baseball. After taking three from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last week, David Bell's scrappy bunch will be looking to sweep the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The Reds will send their ace to the hill on Thursday night. Hunter Greene will toe the rubber for the Redlegs. Greene notched his first win of the season during his previous start and will be looking for a duplicate performance after not allowing a single hit through six innings during his last outing.
Former All-Star pitcher Chris Sale will get the ball for the Red Sox during Thursday's finale. The southpaw is 5-2 on the season with 65 punch outs, but the Reds have hit left-handers with regularity in 2023.
Cincinnati Reds starting lineup
Kevin Newman continues to hit, so David Bell keeps putting him in the lineup. Newman will bat leadoff and man third base tonight. Shortstop Matt McLain will follow and Jonathan India is beginning to get comfortable hitting in the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Batting cleanup on Thursday will be Spencer Steer.
Tyler Stephenson will be the designated hitter for tonight's contest and be followed by corner outfielders Stuart Fairchild and Nick Senzel. Jose Barrero is back in center field again tonight, and Bell has smartly chosen Curt Casali to form the battery with Hunter Greene.
Which Cincinnati Reds player needs to bounce back in tonight's game?
Tyler Stephenson, where are you? The Cincinnati Reds backstop has been one of the most inconsistent players on the club's roster this season. One day, the 26-year-old will go 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, only to turn around thee next night and go 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Stephenson did the latter on Wednesday night, which means he's due, right? lf Stephenson is going to continue to find a home in the heart of the Reds batting order, he needs to start producing.
Which Cincinnati Reds player will be the X-factor in tonight's game?
You're going to laugh, but the X-factor in today's game is Curt Casali. No, it has zero to do with his bat; though it would be cool to see Casali hit one over the Green Monster. Nope, it has everything to do with how he handles pitch-calling duties with Hunter Greene tonight.
The last time these two were battery mates, Greene put up his best numbers of the season. Young pitchers need stability behind the dish and Casali is one of the best. If Greene has another stellar performance, he deserves a good deal of credit. But don't neglect that man behind the plate.