Cincinnati Reds probable pitchers & starting lineup vs. New York Yankees, May 21

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Matt McLain
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Matt McLain / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Probable starting pitchers

The Cincinnati Reds have played tough over the past two days. A questionable ruling could have drastically affected Friday's game against the New York Yankees, and an extra-inning collapse spelled doom on Saturday evening.

But the Reds will send Hunter Greene to the mound on Sunday's matinee. The team's Opening Day starter, Greene has not pitched well of late and could certainly use a standout performance on Sunday against the Bronx Bombers.

Today's game against the Reds marks the return of Yankees starter Luis Severino. The right-hander has yet to pitch this season, but if the 29-year-old duplicates his performance from a year ago, the Reds hitters could be in for a long afternoon.

Cincinnati Reds starting lineup

Despite fouling a ball off his knee on Saturday, Jonathan India is back in the Cincinnati Reds lineup today. He will, however, get a break from the field and act as the Reds DH. Matt McLain is back at shortstop and Jake "The Rake" Fraley will occupy left field.

Spencer Steer is batting cleanup and will be followed by Nick Senzel. Stuart Fairchild draws the start in center field and will be flanked on his left by the returning Will Benson. Kevin Newman gets his first start since Wednesday in Colorado and Luke Maile gives Tyler Stephenson a much needed day off.

Which Cincinnati Reds player needs to bounce back in today's game?

There's no two ways about it; Hunter Greene has to pitch better. If Greene is to be considered the "ace" of the Reds pitching staff, then he needs to bounce back in today's series finale against the New York Yankees.

Greene was horrific in his last start, going just four innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. Sure, he only walked one and struck out eight batters, but those numbers meaningless if you can't give your team at least six innings and keep the score manageable.

Which Cincinnati Reds player will be the X-factor in today's game?

This will be interesting, because Hunter Greene is the answer here as well. In two of the past three starts, the Cincinnati Reds have received sterling performances from their starting pitchers. But guess what? It wasn't last year's rookie sensation Graham Ashcraft, nor was it the veteran Luke Weaver.

The Reds received their two best starts from the season courtesy of Brandon Williamson, on the road at Coors Field, and Ben Lively, who was making his first start since 2018. The Reds best two starting pitchers cannot be a rookie making his big league debut and journeymen who spent time overseas in the KBO.

That's meant as no disrespect to Williamson or Lively. Both pitchers deserve another start later this week. But instead, this needs to be a call to arms for Hunter Greene and the rest of the starters. Greene needs to keep the ball in the ballpark this afternoon and give his skipper six-to-seven innings. If he can do that, the Reds can win this game.

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