As the great Justin Timberlake didn’t actually say, It’s Gonna Be May. April is behind us and the second month of the season is set to get started as the Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs this afternoon at Great American Ball Park for a 4:10pm ET contest where a win could give the Reds the series win.
|Ian Happ – CF||Tyler Naquin – LF|
|Kris Bryant – LF||Nick Castellanos – RF|
|Javier Báez – SS||Joey Votto – 1B|
|Anthony Rizzo – 1B||Mike Moustakas – 3B|
|David Bote – 3B||Eugenio Suárez – SS|
|Jason Heyward – RF||Nick Senzel – CF|
|Nico Hoerner – 2B||Tyler Stephenson – C|
|Tony Wolters – C||Kyle Farmer – 2B|
|Zach Davies – SP||Luis Castillo – SP|
Since a disastrous opening day start, Luis Castillo has made four starts and posted a 3.86 ERA with five walks and 19 strikeouts in 21.0 innings. Lefties have found plenty of success against Castillo so far this season, hitting .362/.413/.586 against him. Right-handed hitters have hit .256/.319/.442 against him on the year in 15 fewer plate appearances. Surprisingly enough, given how opening day went, Castillo has a lower ERA at home than he does on the road thanks to 11.0 innings of 1-earned run baseball after the first start of the year at Great American Ball Park.
Pitch usage from 2021
In 2020 Zach Davies had a very strong season with the San Diego Padres, posting a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts with 19 walks and 63 strikeouts in 69.1 innings. This season has been the exact opposite. Now with the Cubs he’s posted a 9.47 ERA in 19.0 innings while walking 15 batters with 14 strikeouts (and he’s hit a batter).
Never a hard thrower, Zach Davies is going to come at you with slow stuff, followed by slower stuff, followed by even slower stuff. The right-handed starter has been crushed by righties this season, who have hit .386/.481/.568 against him with more walks than strikeouts (7-to-5). Lefties have had success against him, too, but not quite to the extent that righties have. Left-handed hitters had hit .256/.383/.462 against him with eight walks and nine strikeouts in 48 plate appearances against him.
Pitch Usage in 2021
When and Where
- Game time: 4:10pm ET
- Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
- Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio), MLB.tv
- Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
- Forecast: 68°, Sunny, 0% chance of rain
News and Notes
No Jesse Winker in the lineup today
After exiting last night’s game when his back tightened up on him, Jesse Winker is out of the starting lineup this afternoon against the Cubs. He is feeling better today and is hopeful that he can get back in the lineup tomorrow.
Shogo Akiyama is getting closer
Last night in Columbus with the alternate site club, Shogo Akiyama went 2-4 as he continued his rehab stint. While he wasn’t specific on when he would be returning, he told the media “ASAP” and that he was “ready if they called”, but noted that there’s a plan in place from the training staff that he’s following. The target for his return was “early May”, so it seems that things are right on schedule.
Nick Senzel may see more time at second
I will have more on this at some point in the near future, but it probably won’t be until tomorrow. For now, you get this quote from David Bell.
David Bell on if Nick Senzel could get more starts at second base.
"I think it could happen. I think that yesterday was a big step – it just kind of happened."
— Doug Gray is fully vaccinated (@dougdirt24) May 1, 2021
NL Central Standings
Playoff odds via Fangraphs