The Cincinnati Reds (25-39) have won 8 of their last 11 games. They will look to keep up their winning ways tonight at 7:10 against the Atlanta Braves (18-45). The Reds won a wild game in Atlanta last night 9-8, a game where they blew three separate leads. Tonight, we will see a great starting pitching matchup of two highly talented young pitchers.
Brandon Finnegan is coming off his best start of 2016 (according to FIP), which came against the mighty Cardinals lineup: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 7 K, 1.54 FIP. The most impressive aspect of his last start was that he only walked one batter in seven innings. Finnegan has really struggled with walks this season, as he has walked 35 batters in 76.1 innings.
It will also be interesting to see if Finnegan will get back to striking out more batters. He struck out 7 batters in his last start, but has been below average this season in K/9. The Braves hitters surprisingly only have a 20.6 K%, which is the 17th highest in baseball. Finnegan was projected by ZiPS to put up 8.16 K/9 after posting a 8.44 K/9 rate last season.
Tonight will be Finnegan’s first career appearance against the Braves.
Julio Teheran currently has the 19th best ERA in the MLB at 2.85. However, his FIP and xFIP show that he is been pretty lucky, and more of an average pitcher than a great one. Teheran has nice strikeout and walk rates, but he has been subject to the long ball. He has already allowed 12 home runs through his first 13 starts.
Teheran was signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent in 2007 out of Columbia. He was only 16 years old at the time. He made his way through the minors fairly quickly, and made his debut in 2011. In 2011, Teheran was ranked as the #5 prospect in all of baseball. He would only make 7 appearances with the Braves between 2011-12, but he burst onto the scene in 2013. That season, Teheran posted a 3.20 ERA/3.69 FIP in 30 starts. The Braves smartly signed Teheran to a 6-year, $32.4 million extension.
Teheran had another nice year following his contract extension, as he posted a 2.89 ERA/3.49 FIP in 33 starts in 2014. He struggled some last season, posting a 4.04 ERA/4.40 FIP in 33 starts. He is currently a hot trade rumor, as the Red Sox have expressed interest. Teheran would however require a big haul in return with his team friendly contract, and rightfully so.
Teheran has dominated the Reds in four career starts. He has a 1.78 ERA over 25.1 IP, and has struck out 17 batters, while walking just 6. The Reds actually scored 5 runs off him in his first start against them in 2013. Teheran has not allowed a run against the Reds in his last 3 starts (20.0 IP, 0 R, 10 H, 4 BB, 14 K).
|1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Brandon Phillips (2B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Kyle Waldrop (LF)
7. Tyler Holt (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Brandon Finnegan (P)
|1. Mallex Smith (CF)
2. Chase d’Arnaud (SS)
3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
4. Jeff Francoeur (LF)
5. Nick Markakis (RF)
6. Adonis Garcia (3B)
7. Tyler Flowers (C)
8. Erick Aybar (SS)
9. Jace Peterson (2B)
10. Julio Teheran (P)
Adam Duvall hit his 18th home run last night, but he will get the night off against a tough RHP. Kyle Waldrop will make his first MLB start tonight. Waldrop is 3 for 6 this season. Joey Votto reached base four times last night, and now has a 14 game on-base streak. Votto is hitting .340/.468/.700 during the streak. Votto’s OPS is over .800 for the first time this season at .805. Votto had a .697 OPS back on May 29th.
Jeff Francoeur gets the start tonight for the Braves. Francoeur has hit .329/.375/.452/ with 2 HR and 123 wRC+ in 80 PA against LHP this season.
Peraza and Hoover recalled
It’s already been a busy day so far for the Reds, as Jose Peraza (the Reds current #5 prospect on MLB Pipeline) and J.J. Hoover were recalled. Daniel Wright was sent down to AAA, and Jordan Pacheco was placed on the DL (retroactive to 6/3). Pacheco will begin a rehab stint with the Bats right away
Peraza is hitting .274/.318/.354 with 9 SB, and a 91 wRC+ for the AAA-Louisville Bats. He went 3 for 12 on his short stint with the MLB club earlier this year. You would imagine that he will see some time in CF with Billy Hamilton currently on the DL. The Reds certainly want Peraza to play regularly.
J.J. Hoover had a 3.38 ERA/3.56 FIP in 13.1 IP with the AAA-Louisville Bats. Hoover allowed 4 ER in one game, and 1 ER in another game. He didn’t allow a run in his other 9 appearances. Hoover’s last 3 appearances have been very good: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
The big question is what Daniel Wright being sent down means to the Reds rotation. Wright took over Alfredo Simon‘s spot in the rotation yesterday, and this simply could just mean that Simon will be taking it back. Or, it could mean that Cody Reed will be called up to take the spot. Reed pitched last night for Louisville. Stay tuned.
The Reds are on a nice roll of late. The Reds are tied for second with the most runs scored in the MLB in June with 70. Reds hitters are hitting .280/.340/.494 this month. The Reds will be facing their toughest test of the series in Julio Tehrean, a guy who has dominated them in the past. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up. Go Reds!
Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.