There may be no better way to describe how much the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff has improved so far in 2019 than this:

If that rate were to project over the entire season (and I’m not claiming that it will), the Reds would have 25.92 pitching WAR for the 2019 season. Houston had the top team pitching WAR number for 2018 with 29.2, for the sake of comparison.

Luis Castillo is leading the way:

One of the many reasons the Reds’ team pitching WAR rate won’t continue at its current pace is that the team’s offense has been so poor that the hitters are not earning what one would expect to be their usual portion of the WAR statistical allocation. However, if the pitching can continue at its current outstanding performance rate, and the hitting can improve to even average, it’s clear to see that this team will be very competitive, if not contending, before the year is over.

The Reds have the chance today to sweep the four-game series against San Diego, and complete the nine-game swing through Mexico and southern California with a 5-4 record. Game time at Petco Park is 4:10 Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Mahle 17 2.65 3.60 21.7% 5.8%
Joey Lucchesi 21.1 5.06 3.54 23.1% 7.7%

If you look only at the Earned Run Averages, this looks like a matchup that would clearly favor the Reds. But look closer at the peripherals, including xFIP (which is ERA adjusted to remove the impacts of team fielding and differing ballpark dimensions), and the matchup is pretty close to a statistical dead heat. Lucchesi is the third consecutive lefthanded starter the Reds have faced, which will certainly be a rarity this season with the dearth of lefthanded starters in the National League Central division.

Bullpen

In case you hadn’t heard …

As a result of pitching in three consecutive games, Iglesias is unlikely to be available today except for an emergency situation in which the rest of the bullpen is depleted, such as perhaps an extra-inning game. Look for Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen to fill the late-game lead-protection roles should that be needed.

Starting Lineups

Reds Padres
2B Jose Peraza SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
3B Eugenio Suarez CF Manuel Margot
RF Yasiel Puig 3B Manny Machado
LF Matt Kemp LF Wil Myers
C Curt Casali 1B Eric Hosmer
SS Jose Iglesias RF Franmil Reyes
CF Jesse Winker 2B Ian Kinsler
1B Kyle Farmer C Austin Hedges
P Tyler Mahle P Joey Lucchesi

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

If this guy has recovered enough from a sprained ankle to be able to play center field at least adequately, he certainly deserves a shot to play every day at the major league level when you have four regular outfielders all hitting under .200:

Here’s hoping you have an eggs-ceptional holiday today with friends and family, and hopefully a Reds sweep!

29 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Let’s go Reds. Could Senzel be starting in CF at GABP Friday May 3?

  2. Sliotar

    If we are going to throw out the “If that rate were to project over the entire season” stuff like it is up above…..

    Based on season-to-date stats, the Reds are projected to have a 73-89 record.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds/season-to-date/div

    By all means, beat up on the Padres (and their currently projected 69-93 record) and get the sweep.

    But, when today’s leadoff hitter has a minus wRC+ rating (-8) and league average is 100…. there is a lot of smoke-and-mirrors going on with the last 3 wins.

    (Plus, Kemp at 13 wRC+, Puig at 26 wRC+…only guy in lineup over 100 is Suarez).

    0-6 this season vs. Brewers and Dodgers. Bats had better wake up, and soon.

    Go Redlegs.

  3. CFD3000

    A sweep and a winning west coast road trip would be very satisfying. Here’s hoping that three days off takes care of whatever is wrong with Votto’s back and he’s ready for the Braves on Tuesday. Go Reds!

  4. ma

    Votto’s Back must be some sort of Sore, will be ready to see him in Cinci v Atlanta.

    Its not a Rehab start(s) in the minors if you are already in the Minors right now. They are giving Senzel the FUll Game treatment, Letting him get his batting back up to snuff and then will bring him up when everything turns out to be working all right.

    Perazza better be hoping he can provide more than the occasional bloop hit from the top of the lineup. I hear Louisville needs a new SS.

    Hope they replaced Eric Hosmer Clone from yesterday, with Eric Hosmer from the 2 days prior.

    Reds will beat the Brewers when they play them again

    Go Reds Get the sweep.

  5. WVRedlegs

    That is great news on Senzel. That jet ride back home is going to do Votto’s back wonders. Good thing they won’t play until Tuesday night. That is 48 hours of more rest and treatment.
    I just don’t get batting Winker 7th. Especially when you look at the rest of the lineup. Bell just baffles me at times.

  6. Old-school

    Derek Johnson seems to be pushing all the right buttons. SP has been super. Bullpen with a nice bounce- back week. Big start for Mahle. Reds need him to pitch well. Love to see him attack hitters, get the W and finish this road trip in a way I certainly did not see coming.

  7. vegastypo

    The GM was asked on the pregame show whether there was a timetable for getting Senzel up to the Reds, and he declined to give one.

    As I was hearing on one of the broadcasts, maybe it wasn’t the best idea for Votto spend an hour hitting after the game the other day, if it was too much for his back.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Not sure the extra hitting practice is the issue. He hit a leadoff home run the next day so his back couldn’t have been bothering too much then.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Rough couple of starts for Mahle? I guess Wood will probably replace him? Disco has had better stuff then Mahle so far? Both of them struggle with flyballs in gabp. Maybe Stephenson gets another shot in the rotation at some point?

  9. Roger Garrett

    It was bound to happen for Mahle.Just way to many fastballs in the zone.Lets see if this offense can pick him up.After 3 straight lefties one would think we could do more then a couple of hits but we will see.

  10. IndyRedsFan

    Any reason given for Kemp being removed from game?

    Injury?

    in-game trade?

    • VaRedsFan

      He ran into the wall trying to make a catch.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Peraza should be trying to steal with 2 outs

  12. VaRedsFan

    Is Suarez hurt too, or does he have to not run to 1st hard?

    • Wayne nabors

      That his new style of hustling,the other night he didn’t even bother to run,just stood there

      • matt hendley

        Actually, I think his 7th Inning at bat is his hustle

  13. Indy Red Man

    3 down seems overwhelming with this offense & in this park. More yard work for me. Hopefully I’ll be wrong later but I don’t see it. Lefty pitchers own us. They never have the RH enforcers to even it out. Half our offense so far is Dietrich and he sits out vs LHP.

    • Roger Garrett

      You won’t be wrong.This team is packed and ready to go home.I thought before today’s game that this one was going to show me if they were in or just pretending.Obviously just pretending.Big game and no show.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Mahle hung in there for 2 more innings. Gave the team a chance to comeback.

    • VaRedsFan

      Our backup 1st baseman now has more HR’s than the starting 1st baseman

  15. matt hendley

    Mahle Exposed or lost concentration…doesn’t matter, with the option, he will have a month to turn it around before Wood is ready. A good Number 5 right now, but I would take DIsco over him and that’s really what it’s about. Good HR by Farmer, too bad noone was on base. Hopefully, San Diego’s bullpen is suspect

  16. WVRedlegs

    I thought Mahle was done after 4. Good 2 inning rebound.
    With J. Iglesias going 3-3 so far today, he is now the leading hitter on the team with a .275 BA. Next is Barnhart all the way down at .256. That is just hard to fathom.

  17. Tom Mitsoff

    Has anyone else noticed that the rectangle on the TV screen that supposedly outlines the strike zone is completely useless? There are pitches that appear to be not even close to the strike zone that the umpire is calling strikes.

    • VaRedsFan

      Noticed. Ump sitting on the inside corner to righties. Has called a boatload of pitches off the outside corner.

      • matt hendley

        Well, its not the Box that is useless….. as far as this umpire is concerned, its definitely the umpire. Kemps should have Walk is a definite sign of that

  18. VaRedsFan

    Suarez can now trot around the bases.