Reds OF TJ Friedl takes his hot bat to the Cream City to battle the slumping Brewers

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl. / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Brewers

Cincinnati Reds starter Nick Lodolo vs. Milwaukee Brewers starter Jason Alexander

Nick Lodolo (3-5 3.95 ERA) gets the call in tonight's opener as he opposes Jason Alexander (2-2 5.03 ERA) of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds rookie is coming off arguably the best start of his young major league career.

Tossing six shutout innings of two-hit baseball versus the Colorado Rockies, Lodolo mowed down nine Rockies while only issuing one free pass. Over his last seven starts, the southpaw has compiled an impressive 3.32 ERA with 44 punch outs in 40.2 frames.

Jason Alexander, who is not a marine biologist in the offseason, picked up one of his two victories on the season in a June 18th start against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Expect to see a lot of traffic on the base paths as opponents are slashing .300/.366/.465 versus the Milwaukee right-hander.

Cincinnati Reds starter Chase Anderson vs. Milwaukee Brewers starter Adrian Houser

Saturday finds Chase Anderson (0-2 12.60 ERA) toeing the rubber while Adrian Houser (5-9 4.83 ERA) gets the nod for Craig Counsell's club. Let's extract the positives from Anderson's last outing.

Even though he was lifted with two outs in the third inning, the 34-year-old right-hander fanned four Colorado Rockies without allowing a hit. Hopefully, pitching in Milwaukee will provide Anderson with some positive mojo. He had the best season of his nine-year career when he went 12-4 with an excellent 2.74 ERA in 25 starts as a member of the Brewers 2017 squad.

Over his last five starts against the Reds, Adrian Houser has major issues recording outs. Hurling 23.1 innings, Redlegs have reached base an astonishing 42 times via a hit or base on balls. Outfielders Albert Almora Jr and TJ Friedl are a combined 6-for-12 versus the Milwaukee right-hander.

Cincinnati Reds starter Justin Dunn vs. Milwaukee Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff

Sunday's matinee series finale features Justin Dunn (1-2 4.82 ERA) while Brandon Woodruff (9-4 3.41 ERA) stars in the role of villain. In his last four appearances, the Cincinnati right-hander has posted solid results.

Surrendering seven runs in 19.2 frames, Dunn has compiled 14 strikeouts and has shown the promise that endeared him to the Reds front office when they made the deal to send Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to Seattle. This will be the 26-year-old's first start against the Brewers.

It finally happened. During his last outing against the Reds, Cincinnati finally got to Brandon Woodruff. Denting the plate six times in 4.1 innings, the Reds took the former two-time All-Star deep twice in the 10-5 Reds' victory. Let's hope this is the start of a new trend.