Series Preview

The Diamondbacks Series

The 52-52 Cincinnati Reds host the 45-60 Arizona Diamondbacks for a 3-game series beginning tonight at Great American Ballpark. Just as they did two months ago, the Diamondbacks still have the worst run differential in the National League. Their .429 winning percentage is just a bit better than the .400 record they had in May.

They’ve lost centerfielder A.J. Pollock, left fielder Cody Ross, and shortstop Chris Owings to injury. Second baseman Aaron Hill was hit in the hand with a pitch on Saturday, missed Sunday’s game and is considered “day-to-day”.

Despite the injuries, the team’s offense has not been the problem this season. Arizona’s offense (4.0 runs per game) is above league average and ranks 7th in the National League. Since the all-star break, they’ve averaged five runs per game.

On the other hand, the Diamondbacks pitching has allowed more than five runs per game since the break. For the season, only the Colorado Rockies have allowed more runs in the National League.

PROBABLE LINEUP

Pos Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
CF David Peralta* 172 .321 .349 .467 125
2B Aaron Hill 402 .256 .291 .389 88
1B Paul Goldschmidt 459 .306 .400 .550 162
C Miguel Montero* 385 .260 .343 .404 108
LF Mark Trumbo 126 .193 .238 .395 73
RF Gerardo Parra* 431 .256 .302 .359 84
3B Martin Prado 422 .279 .325 .382 96
SS Didi Gregorius* 121 .231 .325 .404 102

* indicates left-handed batter

PROBABLE STARTERS

MONDAY, 7:10pm

PITCHER ERA xFIP WHIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Chase Anderson 3.58 3.82 1.39 1.3 3.3 7.7
Homer Bailey 4.22 3.57 1.31 1.2 2.9 7.9

Chase Anderson is coming off back-to-back quality starts, totaling 3 runs over 12 innings, against the Marlins and the Tigers. Anderson will be making his 12th big league start tonight, and his first career start against Cincinnati.

TUESDAY, 7:10pm

PITCHER ERA xFIP WHIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Trevor Cahill 5.72 3.90 1.71 0.9 4.8 8.9
Mike Leake 3.73 3.41 1.27 1.0 1.9 6.8

Of Trevor Cahill’s 21 major league appearances this season, only 6 of them have been as a starter. His starting pitcher numbers include an 8.10 ERA with a 1.95 WHIP. Last month, Cahill cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to AAA. Arizona brought him back after the all-star break, and he’s allowed 10 runs (only 6 earned) over 9 innings against the Cubs and the Tigers. Cahill did face the Reds earlier this season as a reliever, pitching two shutout innings back on May 31.

WEDNESDAY, 12:35pm

PITCHER ERA xFIP WHIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Wade Miley 4.34 3.33 1.27 1.2 2.7 8.5
Alfredo Simon 2.86 3.97 1.10 1.1 2.2 5.9

Wade Miley was having a good July until he allowed six runs over five innings to the Phillies last week. Prior to that, he had four consecutive quality starts, allowing just 6 runs over 28.2 innings (1.91 ERA). On June 1, he allowed all four runs that the Reds scored in a 4-3 Reds victory.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Today is the first of 20 straight games against opponents with a below .500 record. This is the Reds best chance to climb back into this thing. With the way the offense has been sputtering, it’s not going to be easy, but hopefully the Diamondbacks pitching will help give the Reds offense a little kickstart.

4 thoughts on “The Diamondbacks Series

  1. I think the Reds will have a pretty good August. It would not shock me to see them 10 games over .500 on September 1st.

    • Bracketing the fact that it’s a mathematical impossibility for the Reds to be 10 games over .500 on September 1, the Reds would have to go 22-11 between now and then for them to be at least 10 games over. They do have a relatively easy schedule over that time but it includes ten games against the Cardinals, Braves and Pirates. I certainly hope you’re right, but they haven’t played a month that far over .500 since May of last year. I don’t expect that unlikely event to occur with Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto out the entire time. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they can go .500 between now and then.

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