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Cincinnati Reds series preview: Communists invade

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The scourge of communism spreads itself west.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
Scoot this way.
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

If ever the viability of communism as an economic system were going to threaten the American brand of capitalism, the Reds’ seemingly never-ending stream of on-field failure shows that communism may never get a hold in this country.

The Reds have won a measly 23 games—a total one better than the Royals’ syphilitic 22 wins—to their 43 putrid losses—again one better than the Royals necrotic 44 loss total. In short, some really bad baseball should be played this series. So bad, in fact, that the MLB decided to make sure these two teams only subjected the world to two miserable games.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 12 — 7:15 PM CDT — Sal Romano versus Ian Kennedy
  • Wednesday, June 13 — 7:15 PM CDT — Tyler Mahle versus Jason Hammel

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference

Reds at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Sal "Ray" Romano 13 65.0 48 16.2 30 10.1 6.23 5.46 4.86 5.01 -0.1 -0.9
Ian Kennedy 13 65.2 62 20.5 25 8.3 5.76 4.73 4.46 4.44 0.4 -0.3
Game 2
Tyler Mahle 13 68.2 67 22.6 26 8.8 4.33 4.84 4.01 4.15 0.2 0.5
Jason Hammel 13 77.1 52 15.3 21 6.2 5.24 4.20 4.83 4.77 0.7 0.2

Sal Romano is a fastball-slider guy, whose change is, ummm, not good. His strand rate is garbage. His walk rates are higher than anyone who thinks Skyline Chili is chili. He does throw both a four-seamer and a sinker. When Ian Kennedy has to be the favored pitcher in a matchup, that’s a bad sign for his opposing pitcher.

Tyler Mahle had a bit of prospect buzz heading into this season, but he pitches for the Reds. The Reds can’t have nice pitchers. Mahle is a command-first guy, whose four-seamer and slider are all right but who struggles with a subpar change. His walk-rates were stellar in the minors, but they’ve jumped a bit since breaking into the bigs late last year.

Cincinnati Reds position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Scooter Gennett (L) 2B 260 12 33 47 1 .340 .376 .556 .397 151 2.4 2.5
Eugenio Suàrez 3B 215 12 28 48 0 .301 .386 .568 .401 154 2.2 2.1
Joey Votto (L) 1B 284 6 33 27 1 .310 .433 .444 .385 144 2.0 2.3
Scott Schebler (L) RF 194 8 28 25 2 .282 .351 .471 .356 124 1.1 1.4
Tucker Barnhart (S) C 221 3 19 19 0 .255 .341 .365 .311 94 0.9 1.3
Curt Casali C 13 1 3 2 0 .500 .583 1.000 .642 318 0.4 0.3
Billy Hamilton (S) CF 223 2 29 14 10 .193 .287 .284 .260 59 0.2 -0.2
José Peraza 2B 272 2 33 17 9 .265 .299 .336 .279 72 0.1 0.5
Adam Duvall LF 223 10 18 34 2 .191 .274 .392 .284 75 0.1 1.0
Alex Blandino SS/3B 113 1 11 5 0 .235 .324 .296 .280 73 0.1 0.2
Jesse Winker (L) OF 214 3 23 18 0 .264 .369 .368 .329 106 0.0 -0.8
Brandon Dixon Util 22 0 2 0 0 .200 .273 .250 .239 45 -0.1 0.0

The Reds position players have actually been fairly productive, at least for a team jockeying for the first pick of next year’s draft. Their 7.9 fWAR as a unit, puts them 15th in baseball. They’re slashing .251/.330/.387 with a .314 wOBA and 95 wRC+. Per the defensive component of fWAR they are the 10th-best unit in the game. Judging by DRS and UZR, they are the 10th (tied with Cleveland with 11 DRS) and 22nd (-6.0 UZR) best defense.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against Cincinnati?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Royals sweep
    (26 votes)
  • 54%
    Split
    (75 votes)
  • 26%
    Reds sweep
    (36 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now