The Cincinnati Reds (11-15) head to Wisconsin to take on the Milwaukee Brewers (11-15) tonight, looking to get something going after a deflating series in St. Louis. Cincinnati sends arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season to the mound in Trevor Bauer. The Brewers will counter with left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

Joey Votto – 1B Avisaíl García – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Christian Yelich – LF
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Keston Hiura – DH
Matt Davidson – DH Justin Smoak – 1B
Mike Moustakas – 2B Ryan Braun – RF
Phillip Ervin – CF Omar Narváez – C
Jesse Winker – LF Luis Urías – 2B
Curt Casali – C Eric Sogard – 3B
Kyle Farmer – SS Orlando Arcia – SS
Trevor Bauer – SP Brett Anderson – SP

Cincinnati’s going with a more right-handed lineup than usual today with lefty Brett Anderson on the mound for Milwaukee. The offense has been in a real funk since returning to play in Kansas City on Wednesday. Perhaps facing a lefty who doesn’t miss bats is what they need to get things going in the right direction.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Trevor Bauer 26.1 0.68 0.57 7.4% 43.6%
Brett Anderson 17.0 3.71 1.35 5.3% 18.4%
Links: Trevor Bauer’s Stats | Brett Anderson’s Stats

Trevor Bauer

You can make a strong argument that Trevor Bauer has been the best pitcher in baseball so far in 2020. He doesn’t have as many starts as some other guys, but he’s been absolutely dominant through the four starts that he has made for the Cincinnati Reds this season.

2020 Splits

RHH 46 2 0 0 0 10.9% 39.1% .049 .152 .049
LHH 48 6 0 0 2 4.2% 47.9% .133 .188 .267

No one has really had success in 2020 against Trevor Bauer, but lefties have had a little more success. They’ve hit as many home runs, two, as right-handed hitters have total hits against him. Left-handed hitters, however, have walked half as often and struck out nearly half of the time they’ve stepped to the plate.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve Cutter
Velo 93.5 95.1 80.8 83.4 79.1 84.5
Usage 56% 1% 12% 1% 12% 19%

While there are six pitches that Trevor Bauer does go to, it’s mostly just four pitches as the sinker and change up are going to show up about once per game.

Brett Anderson

Left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson’s profile fits in more with a pitcher from the 1980’s than from 2020. He doesn’t strike guys out, he doesn’t throw hard, and he gets a lot of ground balls. But he’s been effective in doing so throughout his career over the last decade plus.

2019 Splits

vsRHH 551 143 27 2 17 6.7% 12.9% .280 .329 .441
vsLHH 192 38 6 0 3 6.3% 9.9% .221 .280 .308

Despite already having four starts under his belt in 2020, Brett Anderson has only had 11 total encounters with left-handed hitters this season. As such, we’re going to look at his 2019 splits as the information is likely more accurate given the sample size. The strikeout rate in 2019 was the lowest of his career, and it’s up this season so far – but even being up, it’s still well below-average. Anderson simply doesn’t put hitters away via the strikeout. That said, while lefties make plenty of contact, they don’t do much of anything with that contact because it’s overwhelmingly contact on the ground. Lefties had a 68% ground ball rate against Anderson in 2019, and for his entire career it’s only a tad lower (66.2%).

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve Cutter
Velo 90.2 89.8 81.8 82.6 75.9 87.4
Usage 1% 43% 9% 24% 9% 14%

Brett Anderson doesn’t miss a ton of bats by today’s standards. What he does do, though, is get a bunch of ground balls. He does that with a good sinker, and a solid array of secondary offerings – throwing six total pitches. There isn’t a ton of breaking stuff, with only 18% of the pitches he throws being either a slider or curve.

When and Where

  • Game time: 8:10pm ET
  • Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: It’s in a dome so it doesn’t matter.

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 17 10
Cardinals 9 8 3.0
Reds 11 15 5.5
Brewers 11 15 5.5
Pirates 7 17 8.5

News and Notes

Cody Reed designated for assignment, Robert Stephenson activated

Reds DFA Cody Reed, activate Robert Stephenson from IL

Joey Votto and the opposite field

Joel Luckhaupt shared this stat on twitter this afternoon, and while we’re only 26 games into the season, it really is something else.

Updating the playoff odds

Entering the series against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, Fangraphs has the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds at 46.2%. Sitting at 11-15, they are 5.5 games out of the division lead, but just 2.5 back of the final wild card spot.