Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Cardinals
Hunter Greene (1-1 4.35 ERA) makes his Great American Ball Park debut on Friday night after opening the first two games of his professional career on the road. Greene has caught the attention of fans throughout baseball with his 100-plus MPH fastball and calm demeanor on the mound.
Greene's fastball velocity is tops in Major League baseball, and his whiff-rate ranks in the Top 7%. Greene is must-see TV, so if you're not at the ballpark on Friday night, be sure to tune in to the most entertaining player on the Reds roster.
The Reds will have to tangle with Steven Matz (1-1 7.27 ERA), yet another left-handed starting pitcher. Cincinnati has been ambushed early this season with a flurry of left-handed hurlers, and the absence of Tyler Stephenson, Donovan Solano, and Jonathan India won't help.
Someone who's been swinging a hot-bat, however, is free agent signee Tommy Pham. After breaking his hitless streak last week, Pham has gone on a tear. Pham is 5-for-12 in his last three games with a double and two round trippers. Pham has performed well against Matz in the past, going 4-for-5 lifetime with a homer.
Saturday afternoon's contest will see the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starter Tyler Mahle (1-1 7.82 ERA) return to the mound after getting rocked in his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mahle has struggled against the Cardinals in the past. In starts versus St. Louis, Mahle has gone 3-3 with a 4.60 ERA. Yadier Molina has been Mahle's biggest nemesis in the past. The Cards' backstop has hit .478 with three round trippers against the right-hander.
Dakota Hudson (0-1 7.71 ERA) toes the rubber for St. Louis in Game 2 of the three-game set. The Mississippi State product has started two games at GABP with a mixed bag of results. Hudson has 10 punch outs versus the Redlegs on the road, but has also allow 10 hits. We'll see if the Reds bats can come alive on Saturday.
Sunday's series finale will see the young upstart Nick Lodolo (0-2 8.00 ERA) go head-to-head with the cagey veteran Adam Wainwright (2-1 2.81 ERA). Lodolo looked much better in his second start. Staying in the strike zone, the southpaw did allow a home run, but also struck out eight Padres batters over five innings.
Adam Wainwright and Joey Votto have a long and storied history. The Reds first baseman has a .322 batting average against the Cardinals right-hander and has taken Waino deep on four occasions. Colin Moran has had decent success against Wainwright as well, so expect to see the former Pittsburgh Pirate in the lineup on Sunday afternoon.