Starting pitching will be key for the Reds who look for a series-split in the Ohio Cup vs. the Guardians

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) catches a throw as Cleveland Guardians right fielder slides.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) catches a throw as Cleveland Guardians right fielder slides. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Not only has the starting pitching sprung to life, but the bats, the past two games notwithstanding, are displaying a pulse as well. Over their last seven contests, the Cincinnati Reds are slashing .260/.341/.443 as a team and have dented the plate 41 times.

The good news is there's plenty of credit to go around. Five Reds hit over .290 last week led by catcher Tyler Stephenson who hit .409 with a homer and seven ribbies while outfielder Tyler Naquin contributed 10 hits to enable him to hit at a .400 clip.

Cincinnati is also getting offensive production from unlikely sources. Centerfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit .308 while sporting an impressive .357 OBP last week. Talk about positive first impressions, the former sixth-overall pick is slashing .320/.346/.400 since having his contract selected from Triple-A Louisville on May 4th.

Last but not least, we can't ignore Mike Moustakas. Moose has been hitting the ball with authority. Over the last two weeks, Moose has been in beast mode. Slashing .326/.431/.651 with a ridiculous 1.083 OPS, the left-handed slugger has smashed three homers while driving in seven.

At last, Mike Moustakas is providing the type of production the Reds envisioned when they signed him to the richest free-agent deal in club history prior to the 2020 season. Better late than never, right?

Prediction: Reds vs. Guardians

Can the Reds actually capture their first series in the Land since 2018? Not so fast, my friend. Even with their best teams, winning in Cleveland is a near impossibility for the Redlegs.

Look for the Reds and Guardians to split their brief two-game set before Cincinnati takes off to the Great White North to tangle with an imposing Toronto Blue Jays offense.

Next. Predicting the Reds rotation after the trade deadline. dark