The Milwaukee Brewers (15-17) haven’t exactly played some of their best baseball as of late, but are hoping that they land on something soon. In the month of May, the Brewers have gone 1-6 , giving up at least four runs in six of the seven games. For the Cincinnati Reds (19-16), their season hasn’t been bad as they currently sit in second in the National League Central. The Reds have gone 6-4 in their past 10 games and host the Brewers this weekend for a good NL Central rivalry.
Let’s get into it.
For the Reds, starting pitcher Mat Latos has really become everything they were hoping after trading for him from the San Diego Padres. Latos owns a 2.23 ERA on the season with a 3-0 record and 43 strikeouts in 44.1 innings of work. Johnny Cueto, who was lights out last season for the Big Red Machine is currently on the 15-day disabled list due to an oblique injury, but is eyeing a rehab assignment very soon. The rest of the rotation hasn’t been as sharp as Latos, but rookie Tony Cingrani has been impressive in his first four major league starts. Aroldis Chapman has seven saves on the season and the bullpen overall has been rather efficient for the Reds. Sean Marshall and Sam LeCure have the lowest ERAs in the bullpen and Jonathan Broxton has the most holds with four.
Offensively, it’s been no surprise how well All-Star first baseman Joey Votto has done, hitting .315 with four homers and 13 RBIs. What has been a nice surprise for the Reds has been the solid production from the bat of center fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Last season, Choo didn’t do well with the Indians, but is crushing the ball with the Reds, hitting .323 with seven homers and 42 hits, all three which lead the team. Second baseman Brandon Phillips is hitting .280 with a team leading 29 RBIs. The Reds however are waiting on the bats of Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart to warm up sooner than later as they are all batting below .250 with a lot of strikeouts, specifically Bruce who has 49.
Starting pitching has started to become quite unfriendly to the Brew Crew. Kyle Lohse, who got tagged for four runs in his last outing, leads the starters in ERA at 3.53 and nobody really comes close after that. Yovani Gallardo does lead the team in wins with three, but has left a lot to be desired in most of his starts. The Brewers have decided that rookie Hiram Burgos is temporarily better off in the bullpen until the schedule straightens out, leaving the rotation to four pitchers. The bullpen has been the stronger part as Jim Henderson has seven saves and relievers Tom Gorzelanny and Alfredo Figaro continue to shut down opponents in late innings.
Center fielder Carlos Gomez has been on an absolute tear for the Brewers, hitting .386/.431/.675 with 44 hits, 14 RBIs and seven stolen bases. In his last game, Gomez went 4-for-4 and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Shortstop Jean Segura still has a hot bat, hitting .328 with 13 RBIs and eight stolen bases. What still is surprising for most Brewer fans is how Yuniesky Betancourt has been able to keep up his streak at the plate, hitting a solid .266 and leads the team in homers with eight and is tied with Ryan Braun for RBIs with 24. Second baseman Rickie Weeks and catcher Jonathan Lucroy have continued to struggle at the plate, but will look to turn it around.
The Projected Match-Ups:
Milwaukee’s starters will be listed first followed by Cincinnati’s:
Tonight: Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 4.50 ERA) vs Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.63 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. ET / 6:10 p.m. CT
Saturday: Marco Estrada (2-2, 6.05 ERA) vs Mat Latos (3-0, 2.23 ERA) at 4:10 p.m. ET / 3:10 p.m. CT