Talk about a huge baseball game. The Cincinnati Reds (28-28) and the Milwaukee Brewers (27-27) are tied for 3rd place in the National League Central, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, and are also tied for the the wild card spot in the National League. A win tonight would also put that team a lot more in control of the tiebreaker scenarios for the playoff spot should they end up needing to go to them. Cincinnati will send Trevor Bauer to the mound on short rest tonight to face off against Adrian Houser of the Brewers.

Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Brewers

Cincinnati Reds

Avisail Garcia – CF Shogo Akiyama – CF
Christian Yelich – LF Nick Castellanos – RF
Jedd Gyorko – 1B Joey Votto – 1B
Daniel Vogelbach – DH Eugenio Su├írez – 3B
Keston Hiura – 2B Mike Moustakas – 2B
Jace Peterson – RF Jesse Winker – DH
Orlando Arcia – SS Aristides Aquino – LF
Eric Sogard – 3B Freddy Galvis – SS
Jacob Nottingham – C Tucker Barnhart – C
Adrian Houser – SP Trevor Bauer – SP

Left-handed hitters have basically hit like MVP candidates this season against Brewers starter Adrian Houser and the Reds took note – placing six lefties in their starting lineup tonight in what feels like a must-win game for both teams.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Trevor Bauer 65.0 1.80 0.82 6.4% 35.3%
Adrian Houser 50.2 5.33 1.52 9.0% 17.5%
Links: Trevor Bauer’s | Adrian Houser’s Stats

Trevor Bauer

On paper the starting pitching match up tonight should favor the Reds and it’s not close. But that piece of paper doesn’t show that Trevor Bauer is pitching on short rest, which usually changes the math a little bit on what to expect. The sample size for Bauer pitching on short rest is small, but it’s also not good. That said, he’s only done so late in the year and in the playoffs – which he’s doing this season, too, but late in the year this season isn’t after 175.0+ innings. That may be a very big difference.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Slider
Velo 94.8 94.5 85.3 79.9 81.0
Usage 48% 1% 19% 16% 16%

Adrian Houser

After a strong first two games of 2020, Adrian Houser has really struggled. Since August 10th his ERA is 6.75 in eight starts with 51 hits, 15 walks, and 30 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Opposing batters are hitting .313/.381/.479 against him in that stretch.

In 2020 his splits are huge. Right-handed hitters are hitting just .218/.277/.322 against him with four walks and 22 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances. Lefties, though, are putting up an MVP caliber line against him this season – hitting .339/.426/.536 with 16 walks and 17 strikeouts in 129 plate appearances against him.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Curve Change
Velo 94.0 93.5 86.0 80.8 85.1
Usage 19% 46% 12% 12% 11%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 72┬░, cloudy, 0% chance of rain

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 32 23
Cardinals 27 25 3.5
Reds 28 28 4.5
Brewers 27 27 4.5
Pittsburgh 16 39 16.0

News and Notes

Roster Moves

Before the game today the Cincinnati Reds activated left-handed pitcher Wade Miley and optioned catcher Tyler Stephenson to the 40-man player pool.

Hunter Greene’s season is complete

Among other things I wrote about today over at RedsMinorLeagues.com is that Hunter Greene, the top prospect in the organization, has seen his season come to an end. With the regular season nearly complete, and teams having named their 40-man player pool for the playoffs – the alternate sites are winding down, too.

The Magic Number….. Chart

Updated Playoff Odds

After the loss last night the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds fell to 66.5% according to Fangraphs. Baseball Reference places their odds at 63.2%.