The Cincinnati Reds will try to put a dreary weekend behind them during their upcoming four-game series against the Miami Marlins.

Tonight’s pitching matchup

Reds – Sonny Gray (9-6, 2.92 ERA)

This will be his second crack at the Fins. His first one was cut short after getting hit by a line drive.

He has established himself as ace 1-B of the Cincinnati rotation. He’s currently got a 3.39 FIP and 3.54 xFIP which are both 15th best in the Majors. He’s even a smidge better than Luis Castillo with the strikeouts as he boasts a K/9 of 10.64.

While he actually keeps the hits down while away from GABP (.196 opponent batting average compared to .213), he issues a few more free passes (11.2% walk rate compared to 8%). In that first outing against Miami (April 11) he walked nobody in four innings and had six strikeouts. Here’s hoping to more of that in tonight’s game.

Marlins – Pablo Lopez (5-5, 4.23)

Making his first big league start in over two months, Lopez had been on the IL with a right shoulder strain. Before that he was pitching decently. In just his second major league season, Lopez has compiled a 3.56 FIP and 3.97 xFIP in 14 starts. He also boasts a 2.11 BB/9 rate and gives up less than a homer per nine (0.94).

Lopez actually toed the rubber for the Marlins in that April 11th game, as well. He tossed 4.2 innings and allowed four of the five Reds runs. Lopez gave up seven hits and a walk while fanning five. The only extra-base hit off him came by the bat of Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the fifth. That was the hit that chased him from the game.

Worth noting: Lopez got Matt Kemp to ground into a double play and strike out in their two encounters. Hopefully none of the current Reds will provide three outs in two plate appearances against him.

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

  1. Josh VanMeter – LF
  2. Freddy Galvis – 2B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Aristides Aquino – RF
  5. Tucker Barnhart – C
  6. Jose Iglesias – SS
  7. Derek Dietrich – 1B
  8. Nick Senzel – CF
  9. Sonny Gray – SP

Miami Marlins Lineup

  1. Jon Berti – LF
  2. Neil Walker – 3B
  3. Garrett Cooper – 1B
  4. Starlin Castro – SS
  5. Harold Ramirez – RF
  6. Isan Diaz – 2B
  7. Jorge Alfaro – C
  8. Lewis Brinson – CF
  9. Pablo Lopez – SP

Lineup Notes

Josh VanMeter has 12 hits, five of them for extra bases, in 34 plate appearances when leading off an inning.

When Freddy Galvis swings at the first pitch, he has a 1.119 OPS.

Eugenio Suarez has one career home run in 14 games at Marlins Park.

Seven of Aristides Aquino’s 26 hits have come from swinging at the first pitch. Another seven have come from swinging at a 1-0 pitch.

Tucker Barnhart has four hits in the five games he has hit out of the five-hole.

Jose Iglesias is one of only two names that pop up in the search bar whenever you type in Iglesias (Raisel is the only other one). On a more statistical note, he’s hitting .336 on the road.

Batting average ain’t everything, folks. Despite hitting .203, Derek Dietrich still boasts a 115 OPS+.

Nick Senzel has a .339 batting average with runners in scoring position. He also has never been intentionally walked.

Opposing hitter to watch

Jon Berti – LF

I know, I picked the leadoff hitter. Before you dismiss it as me just picking the first guy who pops up, I’ve got two thoughts. One, his first name only has three letters and you don’t mess with guys like that. Lastly, he hits .314 at home.

Wrapping it up

Let’s face it, the Reds need to win this one just so they don’t lose this one. There’s no grand implications left. They’re not going to sneak on in to these upcoming playoffs. Doggone it, though, they’re the Reds and we love ‘em. Let’s watch them end this losing streak.