The Cincinnati Reds (62-69) take on the Miami Marlins (47-84) in game three of their four game series tonight. The Reds have taken the first two games of the series and look to keep that rolling tonight as they try to climb closer to the .500 mark.
Anthony DeSclafani (8-7, 4.27 ERA, 128.2IP, 25 HR, 41 BB, 131 K)
As we’ve seen for the last few seasons from Anthony DeSclafani, he’s going to throw strikes – he doesn’t walk many hitters – and he’s going to rack up plenty of strikeouts. But his kryptonite is the home run ball. He’s given up 25 of them this season. His home runs allowed per 9-innings pitched is the 8th highest rate in the league among pitchers with at least 120 innings this year.
In a large ballpark like Miami there is less of a chance that could be an issue versus when he pitches at home, or even around the National League Central which has several home run friendly ballparks. But when he does run into problems, it’s usually a home run that causes it rather than a lack of control coming on where he’s giving up free bases left and right.
After a very strong run in June and July, DeSclafani has posted a 5.33 ERA thus far in August thanks in part to allowing six home runs in just 25.1 innings. He had allowed five home runs in the previous two months combined. If there’s something beyond the home run ball that is the kryptonite for the right-handed pitcher, it’s left-handed hitters. Overall lefties are hitting .289/.371/.550 against him. They are doing even better than that on the road where they have a .328/.397/.592 line against him. Tread lightly against the lefties.
Sandy Alcantara (4-11, 4.15 ERA, 149.2IP, 22 HR, 71 BB, 108 K)
The ERA for Sandy Alcantara is slightly above-average this season, even when adjusted (he has a 104 ERA+). He’s gotten by with an ability to keep the baseball in the ballpark in a time when the ball is leaving at record levels. His home runs allowed per 9-innings pitched is the 19th best in baseball among 105 starters with 100 or more innings.
Keeping the ball in front of the fences is good, and it will generally limit the runs you allow. But the rest of the things he does seem to be issues for he and the Marlins, and good for the opposition. He walks a lot of guys. He’s handed out 71 walks this season. His 11% walk rate is the 3rd worst in baseball among starters. He also doesn’t strike hitters out. His 16.8% strikeout rate is the 10th worst among starters in baseball.
Lots of walks? Lots of contact? That sounds like a good thing for opposing hitters. The right-handed pitcher doesn’t really show platoon splits. Lefties are hitting .238/.330/.404 against him. Righties have a .240/.340/.399 line against him. With that said, lefties hit a lot more home runs, and a lot fewer doubles than righties do against him. His ERA in August is 2.36, though it’s been fueled by a .181 BABIP. His walk and strikeout rates have remained very poor during the month.
- Josh VanMeter – LF
- Joey Votto – 1B
- Eugenio Suarez – 3B
- Aristides Aquino – RF
- Freddy Galvis – 2B
- Nick Senzel – CF
- Tucker Barnhart – C
- Jose Iglesias – SS
- Anthony DeSclafani – SP
- Jon Berti – SS
- Neil Walker – 1B
- Garrett Cooper – RF
- Starlin Castro – 3B
- Isan Diaz – 2B
- Lewis Brinson – CF
- Austin Dean – LF
- Bryan Holaday – C
- Sandy Alcantara – SP
Jeff Passan has up some thoughts on all kinds of things heading into the 2019-2020 offseason. One of the things he touches on is free agency. In that talk he notes that he believes Yasiel Puig is going to struggle to get more than a 1-year deal unless he has a big September or playoff run. He also notes to keep an eye on Luis Castillo as a possible extension candidate this offseason.
Reading from earlier today
This morning Matt Wilkes took a look at what’s been holding back Alex Wood from pitching like he has in the past. The stuff is still there, but the execution hasn’t quite been. This afternoon Richard Fitch looked at why the Reds will still need to “get the pitching” moving forward. If you missed out on either of those, go check them out.