The Cincinnati Reds (2-4) are making their first road appearance of the season tonight as they take on the Detroit Tigers (4-3) for the second series in as many weeks. Both starting pitchers in the game have already faced the opposite side this year and both performed well, but tonight they will match up against each other for the first time.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

Shogo Akiyama – LF Nike Goodrum – SS
Joey Votto – 1B Jonathan Schoop – 2B
Eugenio Suarez – 3B Miguel Cabrera – DH
Mike Moustakas – 2B C.J. Cron – 1B
Nick Castellanos – RF Harold Castro – 3B
Jesse Winker – DH Victor Reyes – RF
Nick Senzel – CF Christin Stewart – LF
Freddy Galvis – SS Austin Romine – C
Tucker Barnhart – C JaCoby Jones – CF
Luis Castillo – SP Spencer Turnbull – SP

This is the same lineup that was going to be on the field yesterday before the game against the Cubs was postponed. Turnbull, like Yu Darvish, is a right-handed pitcher, so it makes sense to send out the game lineup. You get lefties Akiyama, Votto, Moustakas, Winker, Galvis (switch hitter), and Barnhart against the starter. Take your chances there and adjust to the bullpen moves later if needed.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Luis Castillo 6.0 1.50 1.17 4.0% 44.0%
Spencer Turnbull 5.0 1.80 1.40 18.2% 36.4%
Links: Luis Castillo’s 2019 Stats | Spencer Turnbull’s 2019 Stats

Luis Castillo

We are going into the second week of the season today in Major League Baseball, though for the Reds it is still just six days into the season. Luis Castillo was outstanding in his first start. The 2019 All-Star allowed one run on six hits in 6.0 innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Let’s take a look at some stats on Luis Castillo from last season to get an idea of what we could expect today.


Home 125.2 3.15 12 8.1% 27.9% .191 .263 .308
Away 65.0 3.88 10 13.6% 30.7% .222 .337 .407
1st Half 106.0 2.29 9 12.3% 28.8% .169 .286 .276
2nd Half 84.2 4.78 13 7.4% 29.1% .239 .296 .419

Luis Castillo threw a lot more innings at home last season than on the road – 66% to 34% to be exact – and he was more successful at home. Far fewer home runs on a per-rate basis, and his walk rate was significantly lower. In turn, his average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage against were all also lower in Cincinnati than when he was pitching in the opponents ballpark.

His first half and second half splits were also a bit different. Actually, they were a lot different. His ERA more than doubled from the first to second half as his home run rate jumped up in a big way, and his BABIP went from .226 to .309 and that resulted in an OPS of .715 in the second half for hitters facing him versus the one they posted in the first half of just .562.

vsRHH 369 64 12 0 9 9.2% 27.9% .194 .270 .312
vsLHH 412 75 17 1 13 10.9% 29.9% .209 .308 .372

Luis Castillo is strong against both lefties and righties, but he really dominates right-handed hitters. Last season their OPS against him was just .583 on the year. Lefties didn’t have much success against him, but they did better than righties as they posted a .680 OPS against him during the 2019 season.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 96.5 96.6 85.9 87.3
Usage 30% 21% 17% 32%
Value/100 -0.36 1.5 -0.13 2.68
MLB Rank 82nd 11th 61st 2nd
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Luis Castillo has two very good pitches – his 2-seam fastball and his change up. Both of them are among the best in all of baseball. But his slider is basically a league average offering, and his 4-seam fastball despite strong velocity is a below-average pitch – or at least that was the case for 2019.

Spencer Turnbull

The now 3rd-year right-handed pitcher has 34 career starts under his belt (and 1 relief appearance as a rookie in 2018). Despite posting a better than league average ERA+ of 104 (4.61 ERA), he went 3-17 and led (?) the league in losses (and hit batters) in 2019. But in his first start of 2020 he was very good against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing just three hits and one run over 5.0 innings with eight strikeouts. Turnbull did walk four batters in the game, though.


Home 78.2 4.92 8 8.5% 24.1% .283 .350 .446
Away 69.2 4.26 6 9.5% 20.1% .248 .349 .374
1st Half 89.2 3.31 8 8.7% 21.5% .250 .332 .390
2nd Half 58.2 6.60 6 9.4% 23.3% .293 .376 .448

Spencer Turnbull was better on the road last season than he was at home. His walk rate was similar, but his strikeout rate was lower on the road by a decent amount. The biggest difference seemed to come down to a 61 point difference in BABIP with a .362 mark against him at home versus just a .301 mark on the road.

Spencer Turnbull saw his ERA make a big jump in the second half as his ERA nearly doubled. Much like his home and road splits, a lot of the difference came down to a huge swing in BABIP. In the first half it was .307, while in the second half it jumped up to .373.

vsRHH 315 64 17 1 7 9.8% 26.0% .234 .328 .380
vsLHH 341 90 17 3 7 8.2% 18.8% .298 .370 .444

Left-handed hitters had more success against Spencer Turnbull than right-handed hitters did in 2019. Lefties didn’t walk as often as righties, but they struck out significantly less while also hitting for more average and more power.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curveball
Velo 93.9 94.4 86.7 86.8 80.6
Usage 45.4% 19.4% 20.2% 2.9% 12.1%
Value/100 1.17 -2.15 0.04 N/A -1.55
MLB Rank 16 81 54 N/A 86
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Spencer Turnbull has a pretty good 4-seamer, and his slider is about league average. But his 2-seamer and his curveball are about as far down the list that you can get (while there were 130 pitches that qualified for the ERA title in 2019, not every pitcher throws every pitch so there pitch rankings don’t go 1-130). He will also occasionally mix in a change up, but it’s a rare showing.

When and Where

  • Game time: 7:10pm ET
  • Where: Detroit’s Comerica Park
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: Cloudy, 79°, 0% chance of rain.

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 4 2 0.0
Brewers 3 3 1.0
Cardinals 2 3 1.5
Reds 2 4 2.0
Pirates 2 4 2.0

News and Notes

Saturday’s Reds game moved to 1:10pm Start

From the Detroit Tigers:


Tejay Antone shows off elite spin rates

We shared this one yesterday, but with the game being postponed and a lot of the usual game thread crew not even checking in, I’m sharing this piece on Tejay Antone again today.

In his Major League debut this week, right-handed pitcher Tejay Antone threw the ball very well. He allowed one run, a solo homer, on one hit in 4.1 innings of relief of Wade Miley. Antone also picked up five strikeouts with just one walk. It was an impressive showing, but the Statcast data showed a whole lot more impressive stuff going on, too. The spin rates that the Reds rookie showed jumped off of the chart.

Tejay Antone showed off elite spin rates in his Reds debut

The Reds DH has been, uh, bad

Everyone’s favorite Reds statistician, Joel Luckhaupt, shared a piece of stat goodness on twitter this afternoon noting that National League designated hitters are hitting just .180/.287/.325 entering the day.

That’s pretty awful on it’s own. But the tweet got my brain wondering about what the Cincinnati Reds designated hitters were doing through six games, and let me just advise you to get the barf bags ready. Got it? Alright, here goes: The Cincinnati Reds designated hitters are 1-21 through six games. That’s a .048 average. They’ve been pinch hit for five times. Those efforts have come without a hit. Here’s to Jesse Winker changing all of that tonight, because the Reds sure could use it.

Cardinals vs Brewers game postponed after multiple COVID-19 Positives

The St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly had their games against the Milwaukee Brewers postponed tonight after two Cardinals pitchers have tested positive for COVID-19. For the time being the game for Saturday between the two sides is still on as scheduled, and a doubleheader is now scheduled for Sunday between the two teams. If the doubleheader goes forward, it will be the first time that we see the just passed rule for 7-inning doubleheaders in action at the Major League level.