It's been a little over a week-and-a-half now since the Braves' last encounter with the Reds, but here we are again: Atlanta and Cincinnati are preparing to wage baseball battle again, and this time it'll be in Great American Ballpark.
Now, when these two teams met a couple of weeks ago, they started their four-game series with the same record and finished with the same record. When they take the field for tonight's contest, they'll only be one game apart from each other; The Reds are currently 15-16, and this happened after they took a series at the Pirates' place but lost two out of three to the White Sox in Chicago. So, not much has changed in regard to this team not being able to really get a full head of steam going as far as momentum is concerned.
The pitching matchups will be quite similar to the four-game series from earlier this month, with the stark exception being that the Braves will get to avoid Johnny Cueto this time around. Granted, the Braves actually hit Cueto pretty hard in that game, but it's always nice to avoid a team's ace. However, that does mean that the Braves will have to deal with Mike Leake, who absolutely tormented the Braves in his last outing against Atlanta. Here's hoping that, at the very least, he doesn't hit another homer against our boys. After that, the Braves will get reacquainted with Anthony DeSclafani. Things went pretty well for the Braves in that game, and hopefully we'll see more of the same in this game. Meanwhile, the Reds have yet to announce their starter for Wednesday night's contest, since bad weather in Chicago threw a wrench into their rotation.
Of course, with there being such a short turnaround between games, not much is going to change when it comes to their offense. We already know what to expect from most of these guys; Especially guys like Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, and Jay Bruce. Instead, it'd be good to take a look at the home/away splits. You'd think that with the way Great American Ballpark plays, the Reds would be a better offensive team at home than on the road. Through 2015, that hasn't been the case; As a team, the Reds are hitting .219/.302/.396, with 88 wRC+ and 17 home runs at home. That's a bit worse than their production on the road (.250/.320/.395, 97 wRC+. 22 HRs) , so maybe we won't see as many offensive fireworks as we saw in their two wins at Turner Field. Then again, if our pitching continues to struggle like it has as of late, then those numbers may not matter and the Reds might just start taking advantage of the hitter-friendly environment in Cincinnati.
Again, nothing has drastically changed since these two teams last met, and we're going to see extremely similar pitching matchups to what we saw a while back. The only difference here is that it'll be in Cincinnati, and it'll be a three-game series which means that there will be no splits here; There must be a winner of this series. There's been very little separating these teams this year. Will we see more of the same for this series?
PROBABLE MATCHUPS (all games at 7:10 PM EST)
Monday, May 11th (on ESPN)
Shelby Miller (ATL): 7 IP, 6 H, 9 K, 2 ER vs. CIN on 4/30/15
Mike Leake (CIN): 8 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 0 ER vs. ATL on 4/30/15
Tuesday, May 12th
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 2 ER vs. CIN on 5/1/15
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN): 5 IP, 4 H, 5 K, 4 ER vs. ATL on 5/1/15
Wednesday, May 13th
Eric Stults (ATL): 7 IP, 11 H, 2 K, 6 ER vs. CIN on 5/2/15
TBA (CIN): TBA's magical powers are beyond our level of comprehension