After taking two of three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opening series of the season, the Cincinnati Reds welcome in the 1-2 Chicago Cubs. The first game of their 3-game series begins tonight with first pitch set for 6:40pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Nico Hoerner – 2B Jonathan India – 2B
Dansby Swanson – SS Spencer Steer – 3B
Ian Happ – LF Wil Myers – 1B
Cody Bellinger – CF Tyler Stephenson – DH
Trey Mancini – RF Kevin Newman – SS
Patrick Wisdom – 3B Stuart Fairchild – LF
Eric Hosmer – 1B Luke Maile – C
Edwin Rios – DH Jose Barrero – CF
Tucker Barnhart – C TJ Friedl – RF
Drew Smyly – LHP Connor Overton – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Stats from 2022

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Drew Smyly 106.1 3.47 1.19 5.8% 20.4%
Connor Overton 33.0 2.73 0.97 8.9% 11.3%
Links: Connor Overton’s Stats | Drew Smyly’s Stats

Connor Overton

It would be tough to imagine spring training having gone worse for Connor Overton from a pitching standpoint. He had an ERA of 15.43 and allowed 26 hits – including six home runs – in 11.2 innings. He’ll look to put that behind him and find the form that helped him post a 2.73 ERA in his limited big league action last year with the Reds.

While we are dealing with limited numbers in the big leagues, Connor Overton both struggled and succeeded against lefties last year. His walk rate wasn’t good and his strikeout rate was abysmal – striking out just three of the 61 lefties he faced last season in Major League Baseball. That number will have to improve if he’s going to find any success in the long run. He kept the ball in the park and limited power against everyone and that helps overcome some struggles in other areas.

2022 Splits

RHH 63 12 2 0 1 6.3% 17.5% .207 .254 .293
LHH 61 9 1 0 0 11.5% 4.9% .167 .262 .185

Pitch Usage (from 2022)

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 91.4 91.1 91.1 78.6 81.5 85.3
Usage 25% 22% 2% 2% 31% 19%

Drew Smyly

Spring training was rough for Drew Smyly as the lefty allowed 28 hits in 16.1 innings and posted a 6.06 ERA. His track record is much better than that, posing a 3.96 ERA over the last three seasons while throwing 259.1 innings. He faced the Reds three times last season – once in May, once in August, and once to end the season in October. Cincinnat scored just four runs in 13.2 innings (2.63 ERA) against him.

Last season lefties had a higher walk rate than righties against Smyly. They also made significantly more contact. None of that mattered much as they still hit significantly worse than righties did. Not shown below was that Smyly pitched much worse on the road than he did at home, though he was still solid away from Wrigley, posting a 4.23 ERA on the road in 2022.

2022 Splits

RHH 346 84 18 1 14 5.2% 22.5% .258 .301 .448
LHH 101 17 6 0 2 7.9% 12.9% .191 .277 .326

Pitch Usage (from 2022)

2-Seam Curve Cutter Change
Velo 92.7 78.9 88.7 84.4
Usage 38% 43% 19% >1%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio,, ESPN+
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 66°, sunny, 10% chance of rain

News and Notes

Looking back at the series against Pittsburgh

Earlier today we looked back at a few things that stood out from the 3-game series with the Pirates. From the good of Graham Ashcraft’s dominance and Jonathan India’s hot start, to the struggles of Will Benson and the disappearance of Hunter Greene’s change up.

The 1943 Cincinnati Reds

Brian Erts returned this morning for another one of his time capsules, this time looking at the 1943 Cincinnati Reds team that finished in second place during a difficult era for Major League Baseball.

Barry Larkin Way


163 Responses

  1. Rut

    Would have been cooler if they had a Mandolorian pop out and state: “This is the way”.

    But short of that, hard to imagine a better honor for a home town guy like Mr. Larkin. Pretty awesome

  2. Bet on Red

    so here we are with Neo Bronson Arroyo…. will he come in with last years results, or spring training results

  3. Jim Walker

    The reds need a win tonight or they will be trailing last year’s horrid start.

    No, really. They were 2-2 after 4 games in 2022 then reeled off 11 straight losses, won a game then lost 9 more consecutive games.

    • Doc

      So, a loss tonight would make them 2-2, which by the way I learned math would make them matching, not trailing, last year’s 2-2 start, using your numbers.

      • Jim Walker

        Sorry. It was a long confusing weekend here. My logic chip is still malfunctioning. I did my taxes yesterday on one screen and tried to follow the Reds on another and the Bats on a third.

    • LDS

      But fortunately, spring training Symly

  4. Frankie Tomatoes

    “Connor Overton both struggled and succeeded against lefties last year. His walk rate wasn’t good and his strikeout rate was abysmal – striking out just three of the 61 lefties he faced last season in Major League Baseball. That number will have to improve if he’s going to find any success in the long run. He kept the ball in the park and limited power against everyone and that helps overcome some struggles in other areas.”

    Doug you nailed it unfortunately.

  5. A Former West Sider

    This is not really a reaxction to Overton’s start…
    But I don’t see SP #4 and #5 anywhere close to helping the ML team – definitely not in 2023.
    Not too optimistic about 2024 – but maybe with JV coming off the books they will invest in a mid tier SP.

    • Doc

      I could see Cessa helping based on last year, but Overton, given the advantage of seeing his first inning tonight, is not long for this roster.

    • Michael

      Too early to tell about next year. Williamson, Stoudt, Abbott, & Phillips could be major contributors next season. Hopefully a couple of these guys are ready to contribute later this year.

      • DW

        Chase Anderson is likely the next man up. We will see how the rest of the game goes for Overton. I think Cessa will be better than expected, but not great.

    • Melvin

      Good start offensively though. Good hitting by Steer.

  6. Melvin

    Good thing we’re scoring runs. I think we’ll need a lot of them tonight. 🙂

  7. VaRedsFan

    Offense is responding…nice Ty an Newman!!

  8. Mark Moore

    Started with audio only while on my evening short walk. Shaking my head through that top of the first. Then our guys get their shot and even it up. Could be an interesting game. Maybe Overton settles in a bit here.

  9. Mark Moore

    That inning went much better. Still too many baserunners and pitches. Let’s see if our hit parade can continue.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Nice battle for the single Jose B

    • VaRedsFan

      Hammy tweak…came out…precautionary

      • VaRedsFan

        it happened before the hit….maybe on a swing

  11. Mark Moore

    I’m loving this new approach by our guys. Turn it over to India and let’s add on some runs.

  12. LDS

    Pinch running for Barrero? What’s the deal?

    • VaRedsFan

      Hammy discomfort….he wasn’t lame, but being cautious

    • old-school

      @LDS.Barrero was lobbying to stay in the game, but trainer and Bell said no. Probably prudent at game 4.

      • LDS

        Perhaps, that would be interesting to know though I doubt that given he was is CF and would b3 running more

  13. Mark Moore

    Tough luck for Jose. Hope it’s only a minor tweak.

  14. VaRedsFan

    TJ shoulda stayed put….but they got the run…Rbi Indy

    • Mark Moore

      Yeah. Had to hesitate so the ball didn’t hit him. Then Swanson committed to 3rd right from the start.

  15. Jim t

    I’d settle for 5 innings and the lead from Overton.

    Great play by Vosler!!

    • MBS

      I’d take that, Overton seems to be settling in.

  16. Mark Moore

    Vosler really, really, really wants to stay in Cincy. I mean REALLY.

  17. Dennis Westrick

    Whatever happens in Overton’s last few innings, he needs to be careful with Ian Happ, especially with men on base! Happ has been a Reds killer for the past few seasons! Just sayin’!

  18. Old-school

    Vosler and Newman with outstanding defense.

  19. magi210

    Same initials, it’s Joey in disguise.

  20. Old-school

    Fairchild going to have nightmares of Smyly. 0-2 with 2 bad K’s

  21. Mark Moore

    I see the concession stands are selling a lot of Viking helmets 😀

    • MBS

      They need to pay homage to the original Viking in the organization, Eric the Red!

    • Mark Moore

      Got to love that, especially if Barrero is gimpy right now.

  22. old-school

    Gotta give Overton credit for the strategery. Let the Cubs hit bullets in the first inning and overconfident…then come back and shut them down after all trying to hit home runs. Good thinking there.

    • Mark Moore

      If he leaves after 5 and we still have the lead, then we’ll talk … 😀

      • MBS

        I’m already counting on him getting 6, he’s settled in and has the pitch count.

  23. Mark Moore

    And we’re back to India. Let’s see if he can drive TJ in.

  24. Mark Moore

    And the first HBP of India is out of the way. Surprised it took until the 4th game.

    • VaRedsFan

      My fear is that he takes one on the knuckles….i wish he would wear a pad there.

  25. Mark Moore

    Popped up Ball 2 … let Smyly off the hook.

  26. old-school

    Get him out yesterday. this is a winnable game.

  27. Bet on Red

    Right hamstring tightness for Jose

  28. Mark Moore

    And then THAT happened … stupid Happ.

  29. Bet on Red

    I think overtorn moves to the long releif guy after the others get healthy

  30. Mark Moore

    OUCH! That’s gonna leave a mark.

  31. Mark Moore

    Not sure I’m a fan of DTBell burning Young here. I get the lefty-on-lefty bit. I do hope Alex gets the 6th inning as well, provided he sends Hosmer back to the dugout with a frown on his face.

    • old-school

      IDK…this looks like THE game that exposes the pitching staff with too many guys who arent MLB caliber. Overton started the charade. Gibault was missing badly up in the zone and then up and in. Fernando Cruz is coming soon. If he vomits on the mound, only question becomes whos a better pitcher…Vosler or Fairchild or Newman.

      I dont blame Bell for this.

      Someone in the bullpen needs to give 2 strong innings and compete.

  32. MBS

    Young’s been called on a lot early. I might have went with SanMartin in this case.

  33. Michael

    I didn’t like playing matchups lefty on lefty – this is the 5th inning. I said this before Hosmer’s hit. What’s wrong with leaving Gibault in there. He got 2 outs before hitting Wisdom.

  34. VaRedsFan

    I’m amazed guys can still hit without being able to tighten their batting gloves after every pitch

    • Melvin

      Who is this guy? I guess he’s got the right initials. JV 🙂

  35. Bet on Red

    How about this Vosler… what other positions does he play

  36. Mark Moore

    Vosler again!!! What a fun kid to watch play.

    Smyly’s night is over. That’s a good thing.

  37. VaRedsFan

    Voslerrrrr…oppo bomb.
    Loves his swing.

  38. Mark A Verticchio

    Vosler out performing Myers so far.

  39. Roger Garrett

    Ride this guy until he come up lame.Take your time Joey.

    • Melvin

      Let him play somewhere. This is not the time to give him rest Mr. Bell.

  40. MBS

    2 HR’s 1 triple, 1 double, and some slick fielding at 1B, I’m really liking this Vosler guy.

  41. MBS

    India is looking so much better in the field. That’s a big deal for the team.

  42. Roger Garrett

    As old-school said somebody now needs to man up and give us 2 innings or more out of the pen.Right now what we got from the starter is just about what we will be getting so we must get it done out of the pen.

  43. Jim t

    Wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we pitched around Happ with 1st base open

  44. Mark Moore

    Vosler further endearing himself to us as fans with that nifty pick for the putout.

  45. old-school

    Spencer Steer 2b.

    Krall looking good with Fraley, Steer, Vosler, Newman.

  46. Mark Moore

    India misses one and Steer picks up the slack.

  47. VaRedsFan

    Steer on base 3 more times tonight.

  48. old-school

    Do the Reds have their next third baseman?

  49. Dennis Westrick

    Of course, Cruz has to WALK the leadoff hitter!

  50. Tom Mitsoff

    Why is Mancini on base? Gameday says he was a ground out. I don’t get it.

  51. MBS

    Not a great night for Cruz, but he faced the top, and heart of the Cubs lineup. If SanMarting gets this out, it’ll be with out a run scored. Not bad

  52. Kevin H

    I was confused as to why Young couldn’t come out and pitch the 6th inning

    • Mark Moore

      Yeah. I’m afraid we’re seeing DTBell rules … again.

      • Kevin H

        I was listening on the radio and shook my head. I have a love, frustrating relationship with Reds manager LMAO

      • greenmtred

        It might be because the Reds don’t have an off day for a while and he doesn’t want too many RP’s to be unavailable. The pen might be better than last year, but it still looks to be far from reliable.

  53. Mark Moore

    Really want to see these Stupid Cubs with all the money they spent fade away, especially at the hands of our much cheaper (maybe bargain basement) team.

  54. old-school

    San Martin wins the battle!!!

    Way to compete young man

  55. Mark Moore

    Talk about dodging a hail of bullets.

  56. Dennis Westrick

    Is there some sort of unwritten rule for Reds relief pitchers that they have to WALK the first batter they face when called in from the bullpen?

      • Dennis Westrick

        My comment was in reference to Cruz, not Sanmartin!

    • Mark Moore

      Certainly seemed to be the case last season.

    • Bet on Red

      i like it…. but its buck farmer

  57. Kevin H

    Reds have used 4 relief pitchers now on number 5. Cubs have used 1 relief pitcher so far.

    • LDS

      I’d like to see the relievers go more than an inning, at least once in a while. But, thus far, the bullpen has performed far better than last year’s – so far.

      • Kevin H

        WE agree again Sir. Bullpen has been good so far. Key phrase, so far. lol

  58. Mark Moore

    Newman is getting the job done. If Barrero ends up gimpy, I’m fine with him manning SS until ELDC or McClain are ready for prime time.

  59. LT

    Look like Framer got the call but Diaz will finish

    • Mark Moore

      That would be 3rd day in a row if it happens. Does DTBell have a rule about that in his little Red book?

  60. Old-school

    Ridiculous bad hop on newman who adjusts and continues his stellar D..Steer routine play. Farmer goes 1-2-3 on top of order finishing off Happ.

    • VaRedsFan

      Defense has been spot on tonight

  61. LT

    Farmer dealing. I miss having the other Farmer, Kyle.

    • Mark Moore

      Exactly what my wife just said.

  62. Mark Moore

    Thrall saying it will not be Diaz in the 9th.

    • Kevin H

      Did he throw alot of pitches yesterday? I don’t recall.

      That being Diaz

      • Mark Moore

        I don’t recall he threw a bunch either Saturday or Sunday. I’d have to check.

  63. Bet on Red

    law for the ninth…. Diaz has pitched back to back

  64. Mark Moore

    0-3 night for India, but he was on 2x. Frankly, I’ll take that kind of performance on average.

  65. VaRedsFan

    Looks like it will be Law.
    I wondered yesterday if they might use someone other than Diaz after 2 straight days

  66. Mark Moore

    In other news, Strickland is back in our minor-league system … SMH very hard … 😮

    • LT

      And this one belongs to the Reds. Luve it. Time for some college hoops.

    • Harry Stoner

      I can’t imagine him playing a positive role in any of the three wins to date.

    • LDS

      Let’s hope he stays there – anywhere but here.

  67. old-school

    Of course it comes down to this after 2 easy outs.

  68. Mark Moore

    Law needs to ignore the runners for the most part and get this kid at the plate.

  69. Bet on Red

    Law gets the save and we are on a winning streak

  70. Old-school


    It’s a win. Law gave up some rockets.

  71. Mark Moore

    Vosler ends it and the Stupid Cubs start us red hot and then can’t hold up to the offensive charge.

    I love nights like tonight. 2:40 running game time by my count.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I am LOVING that the games don’t go on forever. (and the winning too) 😉

  72. VaRedsFan

    Hey Chicago whaddya say, The Cubs are going to lose today…..
    No Cubs no….No Cubs nooo

  73. Old-school

    Anyone who can tell us the last time the reds had a .750 winning percentage…please chime in

    • Tom Reeves

      .750 and the one loss was by a run. And it’s a fun team to watch.

  74. Kevin H

    4 games in and I would like to see a lineup as follows
    Enter DH here, This lineup daily I think Reds could be rocking this month. With Stephenson rotation

  75. Mark Moore

    Vosler earns himself another Jim Day interview!

  76. old-school

    Braves beating cards.

    That means Reds will be tied with brewers and braves or Cards for best records in the NL. Raise your hand if you called that after 4 games.

    Maybe Bell changing things up in spring training worked. Urgency to win matters.

    • LDS

      Nope, most of us didn’t . But, it is only 4 games. Still, first place is first place. And Vosler, so far, is raising his trade value. Myers not so much.

      • old-school

        I had no idea this team could win after top of the first. I’m not convinced anyone in NL central is good. i will enjoy the ride…even if it ends next road trip in Philly and in Atlanta. they are competing which is all I want.

      • LT

        I say keep getting players from Giants and good thing will happen. Duvall, Solano, now Vosler

    • Melvin

      “Urgency to win matters.”

      Yes it does. I hope it keeps up. Win every game, game by game, and go from there.