The Cincinnati Reds (27-27) open up a huge series against the Milwaukee Brewers (26-26) tonight at Great American Ballpark. The two teams are tied for the final wild card spot in the National League, as well as third place in the National League Central Division. The Reds will be sending Luis Castillo to the mound for the 6:40pm ET start. Milwaukee will be countering with Brandon Woodruff.

Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Brewers

Cincinnati Reds

Avisail Garcia – CF Shogo Akiyama – LF
Christian Yelich – LF Nick Castellanos – RF
Ryan Braun – DH Joey Votto – 1B
Daniel Vogelbach – 1B Eugenio Suárez – 3B
Keston Hiura – 2B Mike Moustakas – 2B
Jedd Gyorko – 3B Jesse Winker – DH
Jace Peterson – RF Brian Goodwin – CF
Orlando Arcia – RF Freddy Galvis – SS
Omar Narvaez – C Curt Casali – C
Brandon Woodruff – SP Luis Castillo – SP

Brandon Woodruff has found success in 2020 against both lefties and righties (splits below), but lefties have had more success of the two groups. David Bell is going with his left-handed hitting lineup to start the game with the lone exception being behind the plate, where Curt Casali gets the nod to catch Luis Castillo tonight. Everywhere else that has seen any sort of platoon situation has a left-handed hitter in that spot.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Luis Castillo 59.1 3.03 1.23 8.5% 30.6%
Brandon Woodruff 60.0 3.45 1.07 6.1% 29.5%
Links: Luis Castillo’s Stats | Brandon Woodruff’s Stats

Luis Castillo

The last two starts have seen Luis Castillo dominate, allowing just five hits in 16.0 innings with four walks and 16 strikeouts. Left-handed hitters have found more success against Castillo than right-handed hitters. Lefties are hitting .232/.320/.411 in 128 plate appearances this season with 15 walks and 34 strikeouts. Righties are hitting .230/.275/.283 with six walks and 42 strikeouts in 120 plate appearances.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 97.8 97.9 87.1 88.5
Usage 28% 24% 18% 31%

Brandon Woodruff

It’s been a good season for Brandon Woodruff, and in 2020 he’s been good against both lefties and righties. Lefties are having a little more success, hitting .221/.268/.400 against him with seven walks and 41 strikeouts in 149 plate appearances. Righties are hitting .214/.295/.298 with eight walks and 31 strikeouts in 95 plate appearances. The big difference, at least so far in 2020, is the ground ball rate splits. Lefties have a ground ball rate of just 42% this season. Righties, however, are hitting ground balls at a rate of 59.3%, which is extremely high.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Curve Change
Velo 97.0 96.8 88.8 84.0 87.0
Usage 36% 29% 12% 6% 17%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 70°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 31 22
Cardinals 26 24 3.5
Reds 27 27 4.5
Brewers 26 26 4.5
Pittsburgh 15 38 16.0

News and Notes

The Reds BABIP is….. turning around?

While .275 is an improvement from where it’s been, it’s still been below the league average in that stretch. Maybe the baseball Gods are just waiting for the playoffs to let the BABIP really correct itself for Cincinnati? (I really hope you picked up what I was putting down here)

Joey and Jesse, and the others

Putting value in hitter vs pitcher match ups isn’t the best idea – the sample sizes are almost always incredibly small and they are spread out over years. But if we’re going to do any of that, Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are the guys to look at against Brandon Woodruff. Votto is 6-14 with two home runs against the Brewers starter. Winker is 6-12 with a home run.

On the flip side of that, Shogo Akiyama, Curt Casali, Nick Castellanos, and Brian Goodwin are a combined 0-18 against Brandon Woodruff.

Updated Playoff Odds

Fangraphs projects the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds at 51.9% after their series win against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. They project the Reds to finish 30-30 on the season. Baseball Reference has the Reds playoff odds at 46.4%.