Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds Match Preview

Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds Match Preview

Ryan Knupp
3 years ago
3 min read

Friday night starts an interleague showdown of Ohio teams as the Cleveland Indians (7-5) take on the Cincinnati Reds (7-5). The Reds will play host at Great American Ballpark, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.

To say the Indians’ last series, against the White Sox, was a whirlwind would be quite the understatement. They were no-hit by Carlos Rodon on Wednesday, but they split the series with a win on Thursday, 4-2. In the win, Jose Ramirez hit his third home run of the season.

After winning the first game of their series against the San Francisco Giants, the Reds lost their last two games, 7-6 and 3-0. The Reds had an off day on Thursday and hope to bounce back against their intrastate rivals on Friday.

The Indians are the slight favorite despite playing on the road. They are -112 to win while the Reds’ moneyline is -104. The runline features the Reds +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is nine.

Pitching Matchup

The Indians will send lefty Logan Allen (1-1, 2.70 ERA) to the mound on Friday. In his last outing, a 5-2 win over the Tigers, Allen went five innings allowing two hits, three walks, one run, and struck out five.

For the Reds, they will counter with righty Jeff Hoffman. After getting the win in his first start, Hoffman wasn’t nearly as sharp in his last. He didn’t even make it through the fifth inning and gave up three runs in a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

By The Numbers

Offensively, the Reds have been the best team in the league in the early going this season. They are currently averaging 6.25 runs per game. The Indians fall to 25th, averaging just 3.82 runs per game.

Defensively, it has been all Cleveland. They rank fourth in the majors in runs allowed per game at 3.09. The Reds rank 16th, allowing opponents 4.67 runs per game.

Indians Out To Show They Are For Real

All of the hoopla this offseason was centered on both the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins in the A.L. Central. It is for that reason that the Indians have just the third-best odds to win the division at +900.

Like every year, though, the Indians are showing early that they won’t be brushed aside so easily as their 7-5 record has them just a half-game out of first in the early going.

While the pitching continues to dominate, the Indians hope that the hitting can catch up. Leading the way for the Tribe is third baseman, Jose Ramirez. While he is hitting just .222/.286/.444, he has clubbed three home runs, six runs batted in, and has two stolen bases.

Aside from Ramirez, Franmil Reyes got off to a hot start with four home runs, but there hasn’t been a whole lot else going on. In fact, the team only has one player hitting .250 (Eddie Rosario), and everyone else is hitting .233 or worse.

If they truly want to be contenders, that is going to have to improve.

Reds Slugging Their Way To Top Spot In Division

Coming into play Friday, the Cincinnati Reds are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the N.L. Central. Currently, +240 to win the division, the Reds look to their bats to keep doing the talking for them.

One area that they have really excelled is with the long ball. They rank first in the majors in home runs per game, averaging 1.67. Leading the way for the Reds is outfielder Tyler Naquin who has five home runs and fourteen runs batted in.

He isn’t the only one, though. Nick Castellanos has four home runs, and four other players have two. In total, the Reds have hit twenty home runs in just twelve games this season.

They are also excited to return to the Great American Ballpark. While they are 2-4 on the road this season, the Reds are an impressive 5-1 when playing at home.

Who Will Win In The Battle Of Offense Versus Defense?

This really comes down to one of the best hitting teams in the majors versus one of the best defensive teams.

The Reds have consistently shown that they can put up runs in a hurry, while the Indians have found their success in run prevention.

The big question is which side will blink first. If the Reds can get to Allen early, they could be in good shape; however, if Allen finds his groove, the Indians may be better suited to scratch out a few runs against the Reds’ Hoffman.

Regardless, it should be quite an entertaining matchup Friday evening.

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