Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Guardians
For Cincinnati, it went so well the first time, why not do it again. Tyler Mahle (1-0 0.00 ERA), who was sensational in the season opener versus Atlanta, will open the 2022 home portion of the Reds' schedule as well. Former Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber (0-0 1.93 ERA), gets the assignment for Terry Francona's club.
Let's hope Cleveland sees the same Tyler Mahle they witnessed the last time the two squads met. The Reds' right-hander tossed six shutout innings of one-hit baseball while recording a half-dozen punch outs. Nevertheless, the California native is still seeking his first career victory against the Guardians.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Shane Bieber. The two-time All-Star has never lost to the Reds. Making four starts, he's 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 28 frames. Additionally, Bieber has whiffed 34 Redlegs against only six free passes. However, Joey Votto is slashing .333/.429/.500 in 12 at-bats versus the Cleveland ace.
For the second time in six games, Cincinnati will send another of their top pitching prospects to the mound to make their MLB debut. Southpaw Nick Lodolo, the club's second-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, will toe the rubber.
The Reds' first-round selection in the 2019 draft was impressive in spring training. Hurling 11.1 innings, he allowed just three runs on nine hits while fanning a dozen opposing hitters. Currently, the California native enters the 2022 campaign as the No. 36 prospect in all of baseball per Baseball America (subscription required).
In a battle of lefties, Triston McKenzie (0-1 6.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Guardians on Wednesday afternoon. The 24-year-old baffled the Redlegs in their only meeting last year. Tossing five innings of one-run baseball, McKenzie compiled seven strikeouts.
This is the perfect opportunity for Cincinnati manager David Bell to give Tyler Naquin a rest. McKenzie fanned the Reds' left-handed hitting outfielder twice in three opportunities. Perhaps the Reds will fare better with Aristides Aquino in the lineup on Wednesday.