Game 2 Preview

After winning the first game in what was a roller coaster affair, the Reds go for the sweep of the double-dip behind Trevor Bauer.

Game 2 Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

Phillip Ervin – LF Victor Reyes – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Harold Castro – SS
Eugenio Suarez – 3B Miguel Cabrera – DH
Matt Davidson – 1B Jonathan Schoop – 2B
Curt Casali – C Christin Stewart – LF
Nick Senzel – CF Jordy Mercer – 1B
Christian Colon – 2B Travis Demeritte – RF
Aristides Aquino – DH Grayson Greiner – C
Kyle Farmer – SS Dawel Lugo – 3B
Trevor Bauer – SP Daniel Norris – SP

No Mike Moustakas, who took a pitch to the forearm in game 1.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Trevor Bauer 6.1 1.42 0.47 4.5% 59.1%
Daniel Norris (2019) 144.1 4.49 1.33 6.2% 20.5%
Links: Trevor Bauer’s 2019 Stats | Daniel Norris’ 2019 Stats

Trevor Bauer

After being acquired by Cincinnati at the trade deadline last season, Trevor Bauer struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark. As a result of that his ERA jumped from 3.79 with Cleveland to 6.39 in 10 starts with the Reds. His walk and strikeout rates were both better with Cincinnati, but his home run rate made a huge difference.

But in his first start this season, against Detroit in the opening series, Bauer dominated. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk with 13 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He’ll look to do it again this afternoon. Let’s take a look at how he performed last season when it comes to his splits, and what to expect from his pitches.


Home 100.1 4.66 22 8.9% 29.9% .216 .308 .453
Away 112.2 4.31 12 9.1% 25.9% .242 .320 .407
1st Half 132.0 3.61 17 9.2% 26.8% .214 .305 .390
2nd Half 81.0 5.89 17 8.8% 29.4% .256 .330 .489

It’s tough to make much of his splits for home/road since he only made 10 starts with the Reds. He only made four home starts with Cincinnati, but had a 4.15 ERA in 26.0 innings with six homers allowed. In six starts on the road he threw 30.1 innings with six homers allowed and an 8.31 ERA. Small sample sizes on both ends of that one.

That said, the first half and second half numbers for Trevor Bauer are dramatic. His ERA jumped up by more than two full runs. A lot of that was a much higher home run rate, but his BABIP against also jumped from .269 to .325.

vsRHH 491 94 27 3 14 8.3% 31.0% .216 .294 .388
vsLHH 420 90 16 4 20 9.8% 24.1% .247 .339 .478

When it comes to splits against hitters from both sides of the plate, Bauer is much better against right-handed hitters. His walk rate is lower, his strikeout rate is much higher, and his home run rate is much lower. Lefties just make more contact, and they hit for a lot more power – or at least they did in 2019 – against Bauer.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve Cutter
Velo 94.8 95.0 79.8 86.3 79.4 84.8
Usage 38% 4% 16% 20% 14% 8%
Value/100 -0.33 1.68 -0.21 -0.96 0.88 0.34
MLB Rank 82 9 62 80 16 18
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Trevor Bauer seems to throw everything but the kitchen sink. Well, that and Alex Blandino’s knuckleball. On one side, he’s bringing an above-average 2-seamer, curve, and cutter to the table. On the other side of that, of the six pitches he throws, those three account for just 26% of the pitches that he throws. The three pitches that he threw most frequently in 2019 were all of negative value according to Fangraphs Pitch Values.

Daniel Norris

The Tigers were without Daniel Norris the first time through the rotation. He had tested positive for COVID-19 during Summer Camp and wasn’t quite ready to go when the season began. Last year the left-handed starter went 3-13 for a putrid Tigers team, while posting an ERA of 4.49 – which was good enough for a better than average 106 ERA+. He made 29 starts and three relief appearances, but threw just 144.1 innings as he was not one who went deep into many games.


Home 56.2 4.61 13 5.4% 20.1% .268 .311 .496
Away 87.2 4.41 12 6.7% 20.8% .280 .332 .458
1st Half 90.2 4.96 15 5.9% 18.1% .293 .337 .483
2nd Half 53.2 3.69 10 6.9% 24.8% .242 .301 .455

Last season saw Daniel Norris give up a lot more homers, on a per-innings-pitched basis at home. His walk and strikeout rates were nearly identical at both home and away ballparks – it was just the home run issues at home that plagued his ERA a bit at home.

But there were some big differences in the second half. His ERA dropped over a run in the second half as his strikeout rate took a big jump. That led to a lower average and on-base percentage against. He still gave up a bunch of home runs, but the damage on those was mitigated by fewer base runners.

vsRHH 496 127 24 2 20 6.3% 20.2% .279 .324 .471
vsLHH 114 27 4 2 5 6.1% 21.9% .260 .325 .481

The left-handed pitching Daniel Norris didn’t see many lefties last year, with just 18.7% of his batters faced being right-handed. Keep that in mind when looking at the fact that lefties did hit him well last year – it is very likely that only the best lefties in the league were in the lineup against him, while the lesser lefties who tend to struggle against other lefties were out of the lineup that day.

Still, lefties that did stick around the lineup to face Daniel Norris did damage against him last season. Righties didn’t exactly under perform, either. Both sides showed off plenty of power as Norris struggled to keep the ball in the park.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 91.1 90.7 84.6 85.9 76.1
Usage 45% 6% 23% 19% 7%
Value/100 -0.73 -2.00 1.25 0.90 -1.20
MLB Rank 97 79 25 38 78
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Last season opponents did a lot of damage on the fastball against Daniel Norris. He’s mostly a 4-seam guy, occasionally mixing in a 2-seamer – but both pitches were below-average in 2019. It’s the slider and the change up that tied up hitters against Norris, with both pitches playing out as well above-average offerings. His slow curveball doesn’t get used much, but when it did last season, it didn’t fool hitters much.

Game 1 Preview

First pitch is set for 2:15pm
The Cincinnati Reds (2-5) and the Detroit Tigers (5-3) will attempt to complete Major League Baseball’s first ever 7-inning doubleheader today. Their game was postponed on Saturday due to rain despite the game being moved up by five hours to try and avoid just that situation. Mother Nature can be a real grinch at times.

With doubleheaders being rare for the game threads I’m going to do my best to pack as much information as possible in without typing out 2000 words and making it a real chore to get through. The second game’s lineup won’t be available until following the first game, so it will be added once that happens.

Game 1 Starting Lineups

After the initial lineup was posted the Reds placed Joey Votto on the injured list. The first baseman was in the lineup and no new lineup has been released yet. We will update it below when it’s available.

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

Shogo Akiyama – LF Niko Goodrum – SS
Nick Castellanos – RF Jonathan Schoop – 2B
Mike Moustakas – 2B Miguel Cabrera – DH
Eugenio Suarez – 3B C.J. Cron – 1B
Jesse Winker – DH Christin Stewart – LF
Nick Senzel – CF Victor REyes – RF
Josh VanMeter – 1B Jeimer Candelario – 3B
Freddy Galvis – SS Austin Romine – C
Tucker Barnhart – C JaCoby Jones – CF
Anthony DeSclafani – SP Rony Garcia – SP

The way things were handled in Detroit yesterday with regards to the rain has led to both starters who were scheduled to pitch on Saturday being pushed back and won’t be throwing in game 1 (Trevor Bauer *may* be able to start game 2 according to David Bell pre-game, but we don’t know yet according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic). The Reds have stacked their lineup with lefties in the #1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 spots in the lineup today. Eugenio Suarez, who is hitting .080 on the season so far, was slid down to the #5 spot in the lineup after hitting 3rd all season, but with Joey Votto out he’s up a spot to #4.

Game 1 Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
A. DeSclafani 166.2 3.89 1.20 7.0% 24.0%
Rony Garcia 3.0 6.00 1.00 0.0% 25.0%
Links: Anthony DeSclafani’s Stats | Rony Garcia’s Career Stats

Stats above for Anthony DeSclafani from 2019

Anthony DeSclafani

Coming off of what was likely his best season of his career in 2019, Anthony DeSclafani began this year on the injured list. But the Reds right-handed pitcher only missed one start and he’s ready to go.


Home 82.1 3.50 15 8.1% 24.9% .227 .294 .422
Away 84.1 4.27 14 6.0% 23.1% .248 .297 .422
1st Half 86.2 4.26 17 7.0% 24.1% .267 .322 .481
2nd Half 80.0 3.49 12 7.1% 23.8% .204 .265 .354

Home or road in 2019, Anthony DeSclafani was about the same. But the first half and second half were quite different. His ERA was lower thanks to fewer home runs. Part of that is probably related to the fact that his ground ball rate went from 38% to 48% from the first to second half.

vsRHH 333 73 12 0 12 3.0% 25.8% .230 .257 .381
vsLHH 363 78 16 1 17 10.7% 22.3% .246 .331 .464

For Anthony DeSclafani there are clear splits versus lefties and righties. Lefties walk more than three times as often, strike out a little less, and hit for significantly more power than righties do.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 94.9 94.7 89.4 88.6 83.2
Usage 37% 18% 25% 14% 5%
Value/100 0.14 1.14 1.13 1.43 -1.30
MLB Rank 61 18 27 21 81
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Only the curveball for Anthony DeSclafani was considered a below-average pitch in 2019 according to the Fangraphs Pitch Values. He’ll bring five pitches to the plate, and it’s the curveball that gets the least amount of usage. The fastball, either one, comes in about 50% of the time. He’ll mix in an above-average slider and curveball plenty to back up the fastball.

Rony Garcia

Today will only be the second big league start of the career for Rony Garcia. The 22-year-old right hander made it just 3.0 innings in his debut last week against the Kansas City Royals who scored two runs on three hits – including a homer.

Despite being just 22-years-old and already in the Majors – Rony Garcia has only been a top 30 prospect in his organization once in his career and that was following the 2017 season with the Yankees. Last year in Double-A he posted a 4.44 ERA in 105.1 innings with 38 walks and 104 strikeouts.


vsRHH 261 46 10 3 7 8.4% 27.6% .197 .273 .356
vsLHH 287 69 20 1 9 8.0% 19.9% .267 .334 .457
2019 Minor League Splits at Double-A

Splits at Double-A aren’t exactly useless, but they aren’t always useful, either. We don’t know how the ballparks all play in that league. And particularly for guys who were 21, we don’t have the best information about what they were doing at different part of the year and where they may have improved. That said, we do know that he pitched significantly better at home than he did on the road, with nearly a .200 point difference in OPS (.624 OPS at home, .817 OPS on the road with 11 homers on the road versus just 5 at home in 32 more plate appearances at home).

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 93.2 94.5 86.5 87.5
Usage 57% 2% 31% 10%

We’re going to skip over the pitch value since he only has one game pitched in the Major Leagues. In his first start he only thew one pitch that was deemed a 2-seamer, so he may not even have that pitch and it was classified incorrectly. Either way, everything he throws has some velocity to it. His fastball isn’t overly hard, but his slider and his change up are both in the mid-to-upper 80’s. Not a lot of separation in the velocity range from Garcia in his debut.

When and Where

  • Game time: 12:10pm ET
  • Where: Detroit’s Comerica Park
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Detroit,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 70° and cloudy with a 20% chance of rain.

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 6 2 0.0
Brewers 3 3 2.0
Cardinals 2 3 2.5
Reds 2 5 3.5
Pirates 2 6 4.0

News and Notes

Joey Votto Placed on the Injured List

Just before 11am the Reds announced that Joey Votto has been placed on the injured list. No reason was specified. Read into that what you will.

Cincinnati Reds place Joey Votto on the injured list

Cardinals and Brewers series postponed

The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers series has been postponed after the Cardinals have had six members of their traveling party test positive for COVID-19, including three players. St. Louis, as of now, is scheduled to begin a 4-game series against Detroit at Comerica Park where each team will be designated as the “home team” twice.

Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez out for the season

Boston pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has been shut down for the season after he developed myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) after “recovering” from COVID-19. Rodriguez reported feeling exhausted after throwing just 20 pitches in his return to the Red Sox in Summer Camp and was checked out by the team doctors. From Ian Browne of

“This case, while it’s something that’s persistent, is not something that has impacted or damaged the functioning of his heart, which in that event, the prognosis is good and these things just take time,” said Bloom.

“Now, myocarditis following COVID is obviously not something that the medical community has a lot of data on because the virus itself is new, much less in an athlete, but everything we know about myocarditis itself indicates that when you have a case like this, the long-term prognosis is good, the recovery should be complete, it’s just a question of time.”

Eric Davis goes 30-30 in 1987