The Texas Rangers are making a very rare appearance at Great American Ball Park for an interleague three-game weekend series beginning tonight at 7:10 p.m. Eastern time.
The Rangers are 36-32 overall, 9.5 games behind Houston and in second place in the AL West. The 30-36 Reds, of course, slipped into fourth place in the NL Central thanks to a seven-game losing streak by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Texas slugger Joey Gallo’s 17 home runs and 1.074 OPS will miss this series due to injury. But the Rangers, like the Reds, have gotten outstanding production from players they signed this spring as non-roster free agents. Former Giant Hunter Pence has 14 homers and a .926 OPS. Infielder Logan Forsythe is hitting .274 with a .811 OPS. The Rangers are eighth in team OPS in the majors, compared to Cincinnati’s 23rd. On the other side of the coin, the Rangers are 23rd in team ERA, compared to the Reds’ fourth overall ranking.
It is an interesting three-game matchup of strength vs. strength (Reds pitching vs. Rangers hitting), and weakness vs. weakness (Reds hitting vs. Rangers pitching).
This is only Mahle’s fourth start in a home game this year, compared to nine starts away from Great American Ball Park. In his three home starts, Mahle is 2-0 with a 2.25 Earned Run Average. He’s defeated the Dodgers and Nationals and had a no-decision against the Marlins. It will be interesting to see if the trend of home-turf success continues.
Chavez has been mostly a reliever this season. Only three of his previous 32 appearances this year have been starts. His numbers this year are not far off from his career numbers. The Rangers’ starting pitcher for tonight’s game was listed as TBA until this morning, so it’s possible Chavez might be used as an “opener” in what might be a bullpen game for the team from Arlington.
Following a day off Thursday, all bullpen inhabitants should be ready if and when called upon today.
|LF Shin-Soo Choo||CF Nick Senzel|
|CF Delino DeShields||1B Joey Votto|
|SS Elvis Andrus||3B Eugenio Suarez|
|RF Nomar Mazara||2B Derek Dietrich|
|3B Asdrubel Cabrera||RF Yasiel Puig|
|2B Rougned Odor||SS Jose Iglesias|
|1B Ronald Guzman||LF Jose Peraza|
|C Tim Federowicz||C Curt Casali|
|P Jesse Chavez||P Tyler Mahle|
Curt Casali gets a rare start against a righthander tonight, and Jesse Winker is seated against one.
Neither Pence nor Forsythe is starting tonight for Texas. In Pence’s case, it’s probably because there is no DH in a National League park. Old friend Shin-Soo Choo is batting leadoff for the visitors, a batting order spot he occupied with much success for the Reds in 2013. And yes, Delino DeShields is the son of Reds first base coach Delino DeShields. Tim Federowicz spent the last month or so of 2018 with the Reds after a stint in Class AAA Louisville.
Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.
News and Notes
The Reds have allowed the fewest runs (244) in the National League, and second fewest in Major League Baseball. Only the Tampa Bay Rays have allowed fewer (225) …
Before the game, the Reds announced that Alex Blandino was reinstated from the injured list and optioned to Class AAA Louisville …
U.S. Army’s 244th birthday observed …
In recognition of the @USArmy‘s 244th birthday, the Reds will don their military appreciation uniforms tonight vs. Texas. The club will also welcome a group of America’s soldiers during pregame ceremonies, including an Oath of Enlistment and ceremonial first pitch. #RedsThreads pic.twitter.com/rXx2TBaiqX
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 14, 2019
In case you missed it
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) June 13, 2019
Something many of us will never forget …
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 6, 2019