After picking up a win behind a complete game from Luis Castillo, the Cincinnati Reds (20-25) will go for the series win tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals (19-19), with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15pm ET. Cincinnati will send rookie right-handed starter Tejay Antone to the mound, hoping he will continue his outstanding rookie season. The Cardinals will be sending Dakota Hudson to the hill with the hopes that they can even the series up.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals

Shogo Akiyama – LF Kolten Wong – 2B
Nick Castellanos – RF Tommy Edman – RF
Joey Votto – 1B Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Brad Miller – DH
Brian Goodwin – CF Paul DeJong – SS
Freddy Galvis – 2B Matt Carpenter – 3B
Aristides Aquino – DH Austin Dean – LF
Tucker Barnhart – C Matt Wieters – C
Kyle Farmer – SS Harrison Bader – CF
Tejay Antone – SP Dakota Hudson – SP

Notably missing from the lineup again tonight are Jesse Winker and Mike Moustakas, both of whom left the game on Thursday with injuries. It’s possible both simply are getting an extra day because of Hudson’s reverse splits and they could be available off of the bench later in the game if needed.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Tejay Antone 25.1 2.49 0.95 11.1% 33.3%
Dakota Hudson 31.0 3.19 1.00 7.4% 22.3%
Links: Tejay Antone’s Stats | Dakota Hudson’s Stats

Tejay Antone

Tejay Antone’s breakout has been fun to watch as he’s missed a ton of bats, posting big strikeout numbers while splitting time between the bullpen and the rotation. But he’s also been getting a high number of ground balls, too – something he’s always shown in the minor leagues.

2020 Splits

RHH 49 5 2 0 1 8.2% 42.9% .114 .204 .227
LHH 50 8 1 0 2 14.0% 24.0% .190 .320 .357

Antone has pitched well against both lefties and righties so far this season, but left-handed hitters have a very clear advantage both in terms of how often they walk and in how often they make contact. Right-handed hitters aren’t making hardly any contact, sporting a 43% strikeout rate – and they aren’t drawing many walks, either.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Curve Slider Change
Velo 95.6 95.9 80.3 83.6 87.4
Usage 3% 39% 13% 42% 3%

Dakota Hudson

Dakota Hudson has the 7th best ground ball rate out of 110 pitchers this season with at least 30 innings pitched. 58.3% of the balls put in play against him are on the ground.

2020 Splits

RHH 55 14 1 0 2 10.9% 21.8% .286 .364 .429
LHH 66 8 1 0 3 4.5% 22.7% .129 .182 .290

Dakota Hudson has some serious reverse splits going on in 2020. Right-handed hitters have a significant advantage in how often they walk, and how the contact they are making turns out. That latter part is pretty significant because lefties have a BABIP against him this year of just .114, while righties are sitting at a far more reasonable (but probably a tad higher than expected) .343. In his career, lefties have hit him better, posting a .764 OPS against him, compared to a .649 OPS from righties. But it’s also worth noting that prior to 2020 his strikeout-to-walk ratio against lefties was terrible (66 walks and 70 strikeouts), while this year he has walked just three lefties and has struck out 15 of them.

Diving into his 2020 splits some more – both righties and lefties have huge ground ball tendencies against him (60% and 58%), but lefties are pulling the ball 55% of the time against him, while righties are doing so just 38% of the time. That could be a big factor into why lefties BABIP is so much lower – they pull the ball a ton against him, and they put the ball on the ground a ton…. which means a billion ground balls into the shift.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Slider Change
Velo 93.2 93.6 88.9 82.7 86.9
Usage 23% 33% 21% 20% 2%

When and Where

  • Game time: 8:15pm ET
  • Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 75°, partly cloudy, 5% chance of rain

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 26 20
Cardinals 19 19 3.0
Brewers 20 22 4.0
Reds 20 25 5.5
Pirates 14 28 10.0

News and Notes

MLB has a plan for a playoff bubble and it is now in the hands of the players association to approve of, or offer changes to the plan. Their plan includes four stadiums and all of them are quite pitcher friendly, which could lead to some interesting games in October.

The Reds signed a pitching prospect

This week the Cincinnati Reds picked up a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic named Kelvin Valdez. He adds to a crop of players that the team signed last summer in the current signing class. Valdez has not been pitching very long, but is already reaching the mid-90’s and showing a secondary pitch. You can read more about him and the signing class right here.

Updated Playoff Odds

Fangraphs has the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds at 23.5% after the win last night and projects them to finish the season at 28-32. Baseball Reference gives the Reds a 13.7% chance at making the playoffs this year.