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Cincinnati Reds series preview: The Royals travel behind the Iron Curtain

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The struggles of the 2018 Cincinnati Reds have struck a blow to the cause of communism the world over. When one of the two standard bearers for the Red Army—along with those dastardly St. Petersburg Devil Rays—does as little to undermine America’s pastime as the Reds have done this year, the whole cause suffers.

The Reds got out to a dismal start, owning the worst record in baseball for a while as their 3-18 start buried them before their season could get off the ground. They recovered some, passing the Orioles and Royals as those two teams had swoons that lasted past the All-Star Break—and really, the Orioles’ struggles never stopped. The Reds got better, and actually enjoyed decent seasons from Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Súarez, both of whom look like real assets for Putin’s cause.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 25 — 5:40 PM CDT — Eric Skoglund (L) versus Matt Harvey
  • Wednesday, September 26 — 5:40 PM CDT — Heath Fillmyer versus Cody Reed (L)

Royals at Reds 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
Eric Skoglund (L) 12 62.2 45 17.1 17 6.4 5.60 5.05 4.75 4.61 0.1 -0.2
Matt Harvey 31 150.0 125 19.5 37 5.8 4.92 4.60 4.27 4.23 1.3 1.0
Game 2
Heath Fillmyer 16 75.0 48 15.1 30 9.5 4.56 4.89 4.76 5.00 0.3 0.4
Cody Reed (L) 16 39.1 40 23.5 13 7.7 3.66 3.92 3.44 3.44 0.5 0.6

Matt Harvey enjoyed a bit of a resurgence after being dealt behind the Iron Curtain in May in a challenge trade that sent Devin Mesoraco to the Mets. Hardly his former self, he still regained his stature as an above-replacement-value pitcher in Cincinnati, no small feat given the bandboxiness of Great American Ballpark. Cody Reed used to be a Royals prospect. His limited stint in the majors this season has been encouraging, but his 2016 and 2017 seasons were abysmal. He could still become a guy, but he could just as easily end up as another failed starter turned decent reliever.

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 625 23 85 92 4 .315 .363 .496 .367 129 4.7 4.2
Eugenio Suárez 3B 588 32 76 101 1 .284 .369 .524 .377 135 4.0 4.0
Joey Votto (L) 1B 603 12 66 67 1 .284 .418 .422 .371 131 3.4 3.4
José Peraza SS 660 13 84 56 23 .290 .328 .417 .321 98 2.5 2.1
Scott Schebler (L) RF 408 17 54 49 3 .264 .341 .457 .344 114 1.4 1.3
Billy Hamilton (S) CF 540 4 72 29 32 .233 .295 .320 .273 66 1.2 0.2
Tucker Barnhart (S) C/1B 509 9 49 44 0 .244 .326 .360 .303 86 1.0 0.7
Curt Casali C 150 4 14 16 0 .296 .356 .459 .350 118 0.9 0.9
Phillip Ervin LF/RF 234 7 26 30 5 .252 .325 .413 .320 97 0.7 -0.1
Tim Federowicz C 3 0 0 0 0 .500 .667 1.000 .645 315 0.1 0.1
Mason Williams (L) OF 124 2 10 6 1 .284 .320 .397 .311 92 0.0 0.1
Blake Trahan SS 11 0 2 0 0 .273 .273 .273 .240 44 0.0 -0.1
Dilson Herrera Util 85 3 8 8 0 .171 .259 .342 .266 62 -0.1 -0.2
Gabriel Guerrero LF 13 1 1 1 0 .154 .154 .385 .224 33 -0.1 -0.1
Brandon Dixon Util 120 5 14 10 0 .183 .217 .365 .249 50 -0.3 -0.6

The Reds position players are pretty middle-of-the-road, ranking 14th in fWAR and 18th in wRC+.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in enemy territory?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    America wins
    (44 votes)
  • 9%
    Communism wins
    (7 votes)
  • 33%
    Split
    (26 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now