Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds Match Preview

Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds Match Preview

Rodney Knupp
2 years ago
3 min read

Saturday features the second of a three-game series between intrastate rivals as the Cleveland Indians (7-6) will take on the Cincinnati Reds (8-5). The Reds will host this one from Great American Ballpark, with first pitch scheduled for 4:10 pm ET.

The Cincinnati Reds struck first in this series, winning Friday’s game 10-3. Jeff Hoffman picked up the win after going six innings, allowing seven hits, three walks, one run, and four strikeouts.

Also, in the win, Joey Votto hit his third home run of the season while Nick Castellanos hit his fifth.

In the loss, Logan Allen lasted only two innings giving up five runs (four earned) and struck out two. In the loss, Amed Rosario and Jordan Luplow both homered.

The Reds are the favorites in this one playing at home. They are -142 to win while the Indians’ moneyline sits at +120. The runline features the Indians +1.5 while the over/under for total runs is eight.

Pitching Matchup

Saturday’s pitching matchup is a good one. The Indians will send Triston McKenzie (0-0, 4.70 ERA) to the mound. In his only start thus far this season, a 4-3 loss to the White Sox, McKenzie went four innings allowing three runs and striking out six.

Sonny Gray will make his season debut for the Reds after battling back issues. It will be interesting to see how deep he can go after pitching just one spring training game before his injury. Last season, Gray went 5-3 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and struck out 72 in 56 innings.

By The Numbers

All it feels like the Cincinnati Reds do is hit. Leading the majors in runs and home runs per game, they rank fifth in batting average, hitting .262. The Indians fall to 29th, hitting a dismal .198.

While their offense has struggled, it is no shock that the Indians have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. They currently rank fourth in earned run average at 2.91. The Reds rank 18th with a 4.37 ERA.

Indians Look To Bounce Back

Despite being a game over .500, this season has felt inconsistent at best for the Indians. While oftentimes it has been the offense needing the blame, on Friday, it was the pitching staff. Still, they will look to bounce back and even the series Saturday.

While this will be the first time any of the Reds have seen Triston McKenzie, several of the Indians have crossed paths with Sonny Gray before.

Josh Naylor is one for three against the righty with a home run, while Jose Ramirez is four for sixteen with a couple runs batted in. While there have been some hits here and there, no other players have had consistent success against him.

Reds Continue To Pummel The Baseball

When you are already averaging over six runs per game, it is hard to increase that average. However, after putting up a ten spot on Friday, the Reds did exactly that.

In the win, they had ten runs on 11 hits and ten runs batted in. They will look to keep slugging on Saturday.

Nick Castellanos continues to be the Reds’ hottest hitter. After homering Friday, he is now hitting .321/.345/.698 with five home runs and ten runs batted in.

The Reds have to be thrilled to see Votto have some success Friday, too. He has scuffled a bit early on and is now hitting .208/.236/.396 with three home runs and eight runs batted in.

Will Pitchers Be Able To Give Teams Depth?

One of the most interesting parts of this game will be how much the bullpens have to be used. Triston McKenzie was only able to make it through four innings in his first and only start. After the bullpen was called on in the third inning Friday, a deeper outing would be huge for the Indians.

It might be for naught, though, if the Indians can’t figure out a way to cool down the Reds’ bats. Regardless, Saturday should be a fun matchup to watch.

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