When the Reds and Padres last tangled in May, they had similar records and seemed to be headed in similar directions (down). The Padres took two of three, but since then, things have gone rather differently for the two teams and I don’t know if we can gather much from it. The Padres are not a good team and the Reds are. The Reds are healthy and the Padres are not.

Run Production

Perhaps that heading should be in quotation marks because the Padres don’t produce runs. They are last in the league in wRC+. They are last in average, OBP, slugging, runs, and home runs. Their position players have produced a total of 0.8 fWAR. Not and average of 0.8. No, folks, that your total. In conclusion, the Padres couldn’t hit their way out of a wet paper sack if you cut hole for them, tied a rope around their waists and tried to pull them out.

Projected Lineup

First, and notably, both Yonder “As Good as Joey Votto” Alonso and Jedd Gyorko are on the disabled list. So the Padres will have to do with out their respective wRC+ numbers of 65 and 34 (yikes). Instead, the Reds will face a lineup that includes a bunch of guys who can’t really hit plus Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin. Smith is having a Frazier-like breakout year in which his walk totals have jumped, his strikeouts have plummeted and there’s nothing to make you think it isn’t real. Here’s the lineup.

1. Will Venable (L) RF
2. Seth Smith (L) LF
3. Chase Headley (S) 3B
4. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
5. Tommy Medica (R) 1B
6. Cameron Maybin (R) CF
7. Everth Cabrera (S) SS
8. Alexi Amarista (L) 2B
9

Yes. It’s terrible. Really, very terrible. Very bad and terrible and really just very bad.

Run Prevention

The Padres can pitch a little. Of course, we always have to be wary given their park, but even the park-adjusted numbers agree they are a pretty good pitching team. Fortunately for the Reds, their best starter this year, Andrew Cashner, is on the disabled list.

Probable Pitching Match-ups

The charts below offer a few statistics for the probable starters:

  • ERA (average number of earned runs given up over nine innings)
  • FIP (fielding independent pitching, normalize BABIP, scaled to ERA)
  • SIERA (skill-interactive ERA; normalize BABIP and HR/FB, accounts for ground-ball %, weights Ks)
  • SwStr% (percentage of total pitches the batter swings and misses)
  • K% and BB% (percentage of strikeouts and walks per plate appearance)

Monday, 10:10 p.m. ET

PITCHER ERA xFIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr%
Jesse Hahn 2.38 2.65 2.81 29.0% 8.6% 10.2%
Mat Latos 2.89 3.78 4.10 14.9% 4.1% 6.2%

 

Jesse Hahn has been quite the thing thus far in his pitching career. He hasn’t yet thrown two dozen innings in the majors or two hundred as a professional, but virtually every inning he’s thrown has been good. His numbers all scream phenom, but he wasn’t a high round draft pick. Still, he scares me as much as anyone on the staff.

Mat Latos has had solid results thus far this year, but he hasn’t looked quite like himself. His velocity hasn’t been right and his strikeouts haven’t been what we’re used to. We have to hope this is all just him rounding into form. This is going to be an interesting matchup to start off the series.

Tuesday, 10:10 p.m. ET

PITCHER ERA xFIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr%
Ian Kennedy 4.01 3.14 3.10 25.8% 6.3% 9.6%
Mike Leake 3.41 3.32 3.35 19.0% 5.2% 7.2%

Ian Kennedy has been around for a while at this point. For his career, he’s been about as average as you can get, but this year, he seems to be having an excellent season, even if his ERA hasn’t shown it yet. Mike Leake is having a similar kind of coming out party this year. It’s the second of what could well be two good pitching match ups.

Wednesday, 3:40 p.m. ET

PITCHER ERA xFIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr%
Tyson Ross 3.18 3.25 3.36 22.6% 9.3% 12.0%
Johnny Cueto 1.88 2.98 2.93 25.5% 6.1% 9.1%

You know, I might be shortchanging Tyson Ross. He’s been quite good for the Padres the last two years and might provide an able match for Johnny Cueto. But, you know, it’s Johnny Cueto. Still, Ross does have some pretty good stuff. He beat the Reds once already this year, pitching seven innings of one run baseball.

Bullpen

The San Diego Bullpen is something to be scared of. Seriously. Their top-four relievers out of the pen have been doing a great job of holding leads all year. Yes, a couple of them have FIP issues, but given the small samples we’re talking about with relievers, I wouldn’t want to mess around. Get to the starters before it becomes an issues.

Conclusion

Given the pitching-heavy nature of these two teams and the fact that this series will be played in the biggest pitcher’s park in baseball, we shouldn’t expect a ton of offense during this series. The games will be close. However, while the Reds are a middling offensive team, the Padres are dreadful. It would be a real disappointment and a bit of a surprise if the Reds didn’t take the series.

The Reds just swept the Giants in four games. How amazing would a 7-0 West Coast swing be? It could happen Reds fans. It could really, really happen. Of course, it’s baseball, and you know how that goes.

9 Responses

  1. George Mirones

    I believe this could be what is called,” a trap series”. Hot team rolling in to an obvious weaker opponent. The good part is the Cards are following us into “Frisco” and the Giants will be ready.

  2. Dale Pearl

    Not a fan of Petco Park. The place is a hitters nightmare but just might be a good place to see an inside the park homer.

  3. Davis Stuns Goliath

    Didn’t get to see Leake pitch in any of the six games I’ve seen this year (three here in L.A., three in spring training), so I’m making the trip to catch Tuesday’s game. Here’s hoping I’ll be happy on the drive home.

  4. Steve Checkosky

    Their “cleanup” hitter:

    .196/.285/.354

    Yikes!

  5. Eric the Red

    Have the Padres been finding Cubs-like ways to lose games? Because those pitching numbers would suggest the only game in which we should be a favorite is the last one, although even in that one we’re facing a guy who held us to one run in 7 innings.

    • Jason Linden

      HItting matters. If the pitching is basically equal (it is) than the advantage swings to the team that can hit the best which, in this case, is the Reds by quite a lot.

  6. ChrisInVenice

    The tone of this preview makes me very nervous about his series. Come on, Reds! Keep the pedal down!

  7. Jason Linden

    For what it’s worth the headline was a little bit of trolling for you guys. I wanted to see how people would react to that.