by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Preview: Reds vs. Angels – Suarez vs. Suarez Action

The Reds (53-58) remain 7.5 games out of first place in the NL Central and 3.5 games behind the Brewers. Their odds for making the postseason are 12.6% (Baseball-Reference) or 6.4% (FanGraphs) depending on who you ask. I asked Baseball-Reference. Oh yeah, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates have 0% chance, no matter who you ask.

You did a good job last night keeping your mind off that 4-game series with the Cubs. It was hard to take your eyes off the Castill0 vs. Trout battle. Just one more game and you’ll be able to obsess about the weekend guilt-free. But for now, let’s sweep the Angels.

Don’t know about you, but I’d love to see another Mike Trout-Michael Lorenzen matchup late in game with something on the line.

Roster Move

The Reds activated new acquisition Kevin Gausman and optioned Wandy Peralta back to AAA. Gausman will pitch out of the bullpen as the Reds hope the change of roles will suit the right-hander’s two-pitch arsenal.

Pitching Matchup

It sure is nice when the #5 pitcher in your rotation has been better than league average. Anthony DeSclafani keeps cranking up the velocity on his fastball with outstanding results. He’ll take the mound for the 22nd time this year, the most since the 2015 season.

Jose Suarez is 21 and left-handed. He’s a legit starter for the Angels, not one of those new-fangled openers. On the other hand, in his last five starts, Suarez has not made it through five innings. FanGraphs had him in their Top 100 prospects (#79) in February. His fastball velocity (91.7 mph) is hittable. Suarez’s signature pitch is a changeup, which he throws a third of the time. This is his 10th start of the season.

Batting Order

David Bell has his right-handed lineup in there to face the Angels’ lefty starting pitcher. Aristides Aquino bats fourth again, followed by Jose Iglesias, Phil Ervin and Jose Peraza. Still not sure why Iglesias bats that high. He hasn’t hit that well on either side of the plate, but he’s been worse (62 wRC+) against LHP. Meanwhile, Ervin’s wRC+ is 265 (no typo, not kidding) against lefties. We’ll just have to scratch our heads on that one.

If you were wondering, Jose Peraza has gone 121 plate appearances without a walk, a streak dating to June 4. That’s more than two full months of a six-month season. Not great, Jose.

Albert Pujols plays 1B and bats 5th for LA.

[Graphic: Baseball Press]

Angels Hitting Stats

Reds Hitter Stats

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

One Comment

  • R Smith

    The starting pitching this season has been good. The Reds are looking at 4 SP who are controlled for 2020 who will make 30 starts. That’s progress and reason for optimism.