After the first walk-off win of the season on Tuesday night thanks to Joey Votto, the Cincinnati Reds (8-9) are back at it again tonight to try and finish a two game sweep of the Kansas City Royals (7-11). First pitch is at 6:40 ET from Great American Ball Park.

Starting Pitchers


I’m going to be honest. I thought Royals starter Brad Keller was a rookie because I had never heard of him before this season. So I was quite surprised to discover he’s been pitching for Kansas City since 2018 and was in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization from 2013-2017. Keller has only made one start this season, a five inning shut out performance against the Cubs in which he gave up three hits, walked two and struck out seven. He had tested positive for COVID-19 early in summer camp, so he’s still working to return to full arm strength.

In 2019, Keller had a 4.19 ERA and a 4.35 FIP with 122 strikeouts in 165.1 innings. Keller has four pitches in his arsenal, but he only throws three with any regularity: a four-seamer, a sinker and a slider. His fastball tops out in the mid-90s, while his breaking pitches average around the mid-80s.

Nick Castellanos is the only Red to have faced Keller multiple times. He’s 2-for-11 against him with a double and two RBI.


After pulling a groin muscle in the second inning while pitching against the Cubs on July 27th, Wade Miley makes his return to the mound tonight. In 2019, Miley pitched 167.1 innings in 33 starts for the Houston Astros. His ERA was close to four and his FIP was 4.51. He wasn’t the same pitcher in Houston that he was in Milwaukee in 2018, when he had a 2.57 ERA and a 3.59 FIP in 80.2 innings enroute to helping the Brewers win the NL Central and make it all the way to the NLCS.

Miley relies on five pitches and will throw his cutter 50 percent of the time, followed by his change up and then four-seamer. He rarely throws the curve ball or the sinker. It’s interesting that in 2018, Miley threw his curve about 18 percent of the time. Since then, he’s moved away from the curve, throwing it less than ten percent of the time now.

Quite a few Royals batters have faced Miley from his time in the American League. Whit Merrifield is 4-for-6 with a double and an RBI off Miley, and Adalberto Mondesi is 2-for-3 with a run scored. Bell will likely have him on a pitch count tonight. This leads me into the Reds bullpen situation.


I don’t have answers for the Reds bullpen. It seems almost none of the relievers can enter the game and be relied upon to hold a lead right now. Lucas Sims, with his 1.08 ERA, is the one guy who has been consistently good through the first two weeks of the season (and now I probably jinxed him). The Reds used four relievers Tuesday and only one pitched less than two innings. If Miley can’t pitch at least into the fifth inning tonight, the Reds might have a bit of a worn out bullpen for the Pirates series.


1. Whit Merrifield (CF)
2. Jorge Soler (DH)
3. Salvador Perez (C)
4. Hunter Dozier (RF)
5. Ryan McBroom (LF)
6. Maikel Franco (3B)
7. Ryan O’Hearn (1B)
8. Adalberto Mondesi (SS)
9. Nicky Lopez (2B)
1. Shogo Akiyama (LF)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Jesse Winker (DH)
6. Nick Senzel (CF)
7. Freddy Galvis (SS)
8. Kyle Farmer (2B)
9. Tucker Barnhart (C)

Jesse Winker is 11-for-his-last-19 (.579/.652/1.000). He is the designated hitter against the righty Keller.

News and Notes

Prior to the game today, Joel Kuhnel was optioned to Prasco Park to make room for Wade Miley on the active roster.

Mike Moustakas on his injury and his leadership

Mike Moustakas spoke about how soon he will be ready to come off of the injured list (he expects the IL stay to be the minimum), as well as what it’s like being one of the leaders on the team.

Mike Moustakas on being the Reds leader, updates on his injury

Final Thoughts

I’m just going to leave this brilliant tweet here. The Reds social media team is good at their job.