The Cincinnati Reds (44-40) will put their five-game win streak on the line tonight at 8:10 PM against the Kansas City Royals (35-49). The Reds are playing some inspired baseball as they are 21-12 in their last 33 games. The Reds are also now four games above .500 for the first time in July or later in any season since 2014. The Reds are now 6.0 games behind the first place Brewers. They have also crawled to within 4.5 games of a wild card spot.
Luis Castillo is rolling. He has a 2.13 ERA/2.76 FIP in six starts since June 1st. Castillo’s 1.1 fWAR since June 1st is the sixth highest among all MLB pitchers. He took a no-hitter through four innings against the Padres in his last start before a rain delay spoiled the fun. Castillo has a 2.89 career ERA in 2 starts against the Royals (both in 2020) with 10 K/4 BB in 9.1 IP.
Kris Bubic has split time between the rotation and bullpen (7 starts in 14 appearances). He has been much worse as a SP, as he has a 5.82 ERA and has allowed 12 home runs in 7 starts. He gave up 3 home runs in his last start in a 15-1 loss to the Red Sox. Bubic has 1 career start against the Reds coming last season at GABP: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 6 K. Winker and Davidson homered off him.
|1. Jonathan India (2B)
2. Tyler Stephenson (C)
3. Nick Castellanos (DH)
4. Joey Votto (1B)
5. Eugenio Suárez (3B)
6. Aristides Aquino (LF)
7. Tyler Naquin (RF)
8. Kyle Farmer (SS)
9. Shogo Akiyama (CF)
|1. Whit Merrifield (DH)
2. Andrew Benintendi (LF)
3. Salvador Perez (C)
4. Carlos Santana (1B)
5. Ryan O’Hearn (RF)
6. Hunter Dozier (3B)
7. Michael A. Taylor (CF)
8. Hanser Alberto (2B)
9. Nicky Lopez (SS)
-Jonathan India is back in the lineup! The Reds stud rookies are hitting in the first two spots in the lineup, and they both have hit LHP really well: Stephenson 129 wRC+, India 131 wRC+.
-Day off for Jesse Winker. He is 1 for 20 so far to begin July, so a day off was much needed. You always want Winker’s off days to come vs LHP (career .590 OPS vs LHP, .532 in 2021).
-You really miss Nick Senzel when you see both Tyler Naquin (career .644 OPS vs LHP) and Shogo Akiyama (career .590 OPS vs LHP) in the starting lineup against a LHP.
-It’s good to see Aristides Aquino and his 1.016 OPS get another start. It would be nice to have a DH and Aquino get a shot at playing regularly. The thing to remember with Aquino is the Reds still have control of him through 2025, so there is plenty of time still left for him.
NL Central Trade
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 6, 2021
The Brewers made another trade. Tellez only has a 65 wRC+ in MLB this year, but he does have a 177 wRC+ at AAA this season. He had a 133 wRC+ in MLB in 127 PA last year. He had a 107 wRC+ from 2018-20 with the Jays in 609 PA. He is certainly an upgrade for the Brewers at 1B, but it is surprising to see the Brewers give up another quality bullpen arm. It will be interesting to see if that comes back to bite them in the second half with so much uncertainty after last year’s short season. The bigger headline here is that the Brewers are really trying to make moves to improve their club. Let’s hope the Reds decide to join the party at some point.
This is certainly a pitching matchup that favors the Reds. Another pitching matchup that favors the Reds is being played in Queens, NY: Brett Anderson (7.20 xERA) vs Jacob DeGrom (1.40 xERA). This could be a great opportunity for the Reds to get within five games of the Brewers by the end of the night. Go Reds!