Cincinnati Reds probable pitchers & starting lineup vs. Philadelphia Phillies, April 15

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Probable starting pitchers

Happy Doug Day, Reds Country. The Cincinnati Reds will send Douglas Graham Ashcraft to the mound on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander looked fantastic during his previous outing in which he went six strong against the Atlanta Braves.

Ashcraft has seen an uptick in his strikeouts this season. The 25-year-old is averaging one punch out per inning so far in 2023, which is a number that the Reds coaching staff would be quite pleased with. In 105 innings pitched last season, Ashcraft managed just 71 strikeouts. Ashcraft oftentimes pitches to contact, but if the number of Ks goes up, it'll only improve his repertoire.

Ashcraft will be opposed by Matt Strahm. The veteran has primarily been a reliever throughout his major league career, but will start his third game of the season for the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Cincinnati Reds starting lineup

With the left-handed Matt Strahm on the bump for Philadephia, David Bell has decided to load up his lineup with right-handed bats. Eight of the Cincinnati Reds nine batters will hit from the ride side. Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Stuart Fairchild, and Tyler Stephenson will occupy spots one through four in the Reds lineup.

Wil Myers will bat fifth and play first base in place of the left-handed hitting Jason Vosler. Nick Senzel will follow with the left-handed hitting TJ Friedl batting seventh. Jose Barrero and Curt Casali round out the Cincinnati lineup.

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

Having began the season on the Injured List, Nick Senzel started his 2023 campaign down at Triple-A Louisville. Senzel made some hard contact during Friday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies, but still hasn't registered a hit this season.

While the former first-round pick was actually able to stay relatively healthy a year ago, the results just weren't there. Senzel began tweaking his batting stance near the end of last season with the idea of hitting for more power. He has employed the same stance this year as well. Perhaps we'll finally see the results shine through tonight.

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

Spencer Steer has shown himself to be a difference-maker in 2023. After receiving a cup of coffee in the majors last September, Steer has become the Cincinnati Reds everyday third baseman this season. The 25-year-old is showcasing his talents both in the batters box and on the infield dirt.

Over his last seven games, Steer is slashing .391/.462/.609 with nine hits, a home run, and only two strikeouts. Steer is seeing the ball incredibly well and has been rewarded by receiving at-bats atop the Reds lineup against left-handed pitchers.

2 players the Reds mishandled, 1 who's on track. dark. Next