The Cincinnati Reds (66-91) will finish off their final five games of 2018 at the Great American Ballpark. They will host the Royals (54-102) tonight at 6:40 PM in the first of a two game series. The Reds have lost three straight, and 8 of their last 11. The Royals have lost 6 of their last 8, and have the second word record in baseball.
It has been thought at least twice this season (in late July and late August) that Matt Harvey was making his final start of the season for the Reds. This will indeed actually be his final start of the season for the Reds. Harvey had been on a pretty good roll until he was beat around by the Brewers (5.1 IP, 7 ER, 2 HR) in his last start. The Royals rank 25th in the MLB with a .698 OPS, so this should be a good chance for Harvey to finish the year strong. Harvey’s ERA/FIP/xFIP with the Reds through 23 starts is currently at 4.46/4.37/4.20, while the MLB SP average is 4.20/4.21/4.16. Harvey ranks 2nd among all Reds pitchers in fWAR at 1.4, only trailing Luis Castillo’s 1.9.
Harvey has only faced the Royals in the regular season once in his career, and it came back in 2016 (5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 2 K). Harvey did however famously face the Royals twice in the 2015 World Series: 14.0 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 11 K, 3.21 ERA. Harvey took a shutout into the 9th inning of Game 5, but that of course didn’t end well as he gave up back to back hits and was pulled. The Royals ended up winning that game and celebrating a world championship that evening. The 2018 Royals team doesn’t resemble the 2016 team very much.
Eric Skoglund will be making his 13th start of the season for the Royals, and the 18th of his career. He was a third round draft pick for the Royals in 2014, and was their #4 prospect when he reached the big leagues last season. He throws strikes, but doesn’t strike a lot of guys out. Skoglund started the year in the Royals rotation, but got sent down in May with a 6.70 ERA. He got recalled with the September call-ups, and has done well in 3 appearances (2 starts): 13.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 3.92 FIP.
You can find the lineups here.
News and Notes
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 25, 2018
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 25, 2018
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.