The Cincinnati Reds (11-16) take on the Milwaukee Brewers (12-15) tonight, looking to stop a 4-game losing streak. Cincinnati sends Luis Castllio to the mound to face off against Milwaukee right-handed starter Brandon Woodruff.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

Joey Votto – 1B Avisaíl García – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Christian Yelich – DH
Jesse Winker – LF Keston Hiura – 2B
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Justin Smoak – 1B
Mike Moustakas – 2B Omar Narváez – C
Shogo Akiyama – CF Ben Gamel – RF
Freddy Galvis – SS Eric Sogard – 3B
Mark Payton – LF Orlando Arcia – SS
Tucker Barnhart – C Jace Peterson – LF
Luis Castillo – SP Brandon Woodruff – SP

Once again the Reds are going with a left-handed hitting heavy lineup, with Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suárez representing the only right-handed hitters tonight against Brandon Woodruff. Milwaukee is changing up their lineup a little bit tonight against Luis Castillo – Ryan Braun is out, as is Luis Urías.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Luis Castillo 26.1 4.44 1.52 8.4% 30.3%
Brandon Woodruff 30.2 3.23 1.21 6.3% 26.2%
Links: Luis Castillo’s Stats | Brandon Woodruff’s Stats

Luis Castillo

There’s been a lot of talk about how unlucky the Reds hitters have been with regards to BABIP this season. But it’s not just the hitters – Luis Castillo has the highest BABIP against in Major League Baseball among pitchers with at least 20 innings. His .403 mark is 107th out of 107 pitchers. His exit velocity against ranks 5th best. Nothing makes sense. Eat Arbys.

2020 Splits

RHH 64 17 4 0 0 6.3% 32.8% .283 .328 .350
LHH 55 13 3 1 1 10.9% 27.3% .271 .345 .438

Left-handed hitters have had more success against Luis Castillo than right-handed hitters. That’s not too surprising – that’s how things go for most pitchers. Castillo will walk lefties a bit too much, but he’ll still miss plenty of bats. The average against him is pretty high on both sides, but that’s also due to his BABIP being the worst in baseball, too. Maybe that starts shifting the other way tonight.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 97.6 97.7 86.8 88.5
Usage 28% 20% 18% 33%

You know what you’re going to get with Luis Castillo. He’s going to throw a fastball about half of the time and it’s going to be among the fastest in the game among starting pitchers (currently 4th in baseball). If he’s ahead of you, or behind you, or even, or possibly even just thinking about you, he’s going to show you the change up and you’re probably not going to do much with it – or at least that used to be the story. This season, as difficult as it may be to believe, Fangraphs says his change up has been a below-average pitch. That could certainly be the high BABIP playing a factor in things right now – but nonetheless, hitters are hitting the change up so far this season.

Brandon Woodruff

The Brewers are sending Brandon Woodruff to the mound for the 7th time this season and hoping he continues what he’s been doing. The right-handed starter has a 3.23 ERA with more strikeouts than innings pitched, and he’s kept the ball in the park – giving up just three homers this season.

2020 Splits

vsRHH 51 12 1 0 1 12% 32% .267 .353 .356
vsLHH 75 17 1 1 2 3% 23% .236 .267 .361

This season has seen Brandon Woodruff perform better against lefties than rightes. For his career that has not been the case, with lefites having a 149 point OPS advantage on righties against him.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 91.1 96.9 89.0 87.3 84.3
Usage 30% 33% 15% 18% 4%

The pitch usage for Brandon Woodruff has changed a little bit in 2020. He’s throwing his 4-seamer 30% instead of 40% of the time like he did last year. That 10% now comes in the form of his 2-seamer, which jumped from 23 to 33%. He’s also flipped the script on his slider and change up usage, going from 14% and 19% on his change up and slider last year, to 18% and 15% this year. Perhaps that could explain a little bit of what’s happening with his splits – though that is probably just more of a small sample size thing than anything else.

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 18 10
Cardinals 10 8 3.0
Brewers 12 15 5.5
Reds 11 16 6.5
Pirates 7 17 9.0

News and Notes

Roster moves!

Anthony DeSclafani was placed on the paternity list (congrats!). The team called up left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle from the alternate roster at Prasco Park. Shortstop Jose Garcia was also added to the Reds taxi squad for this road trip.

Tejay Antone continues to be a weapon

Following the game on Monday night, Curt Casali had some very good things to say about Tejay Antone. Over at I looked into some of the things he said, and found something real promising about what Antone has been doing thus far in his big league career.

Tejay Antone: A real weapon at the back end of the Reds bullpen

What’s gone wrong with the Reds offense?

Steve Mancuso put together an outstanding article on what’s happened around Major League Baseball this year, and why the Reds offense is struggling quite a bit from it. TL/DR: Left-handed hitters are being crushed by the shift in Major League Baseball in 2020 far more than ever before, the Reds have a bunch of lefties, and there’s also some bad luck beyond just that stuff, too. But also, go read the entire thing. Seriously.

Updated Playoff Odds

Fangraphs gives the Reds a 37% chance of making the playoffs entering the game tonight. Baseball Reference gives the Reds a 13.5% chance of making the playoffs entering the game tonight. The two sites obviously use different methods of determining those odds. Fangraphs seems more reliable since Baseball Reference is using far more data from the 2019 Cincinnati Reds than the 2020 Cincinnati Reds to project forward the rest of the season (though you could argue that maybe that helps given their current record).