clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds series preview

After a nice relaxing break, the Tribe open the second half with the seemingly never ending quest for 0.500 with a visit to their in state interleague rival, the Cincinnati Reds.

The offensive stars for the reds, Todd Frazier and Joey Votto
The offensive stars for the reds, Todd Frazier and Joey Votto
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

With a roller coaster end of the opening half of the season, the Tribe finds themselves tied for last in the AL Central, eleven games back of the Royals. But they are just a 5.5 games back of the second wild card even though they are four games under water. They will attempt to get close to .500 again by taking on the Reds in Cincinnati, a team they swept earlier this year.

  • Friday 7:10 PM: Trevor Bauer (R) vs. Mike Leake (R)
  • Saturday 7:10 PM: Corey Kluber (R) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (R)
  • Sunday 1:10 PM: Carlos Carrasco (R) vs. Johnny Cueto (R)

The Upcoming Schedule: This brief road trip concludes with a short two game visit to Miller Park and the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the Tribe returns home to take on the White Sox for four and the Royals for three. .

Division Watch: Royals at White Sox, Twins at A's, Orioles at Tigers.

Team in a Box

Cincinnati Reds

Offense

NL Rank

Pitching

NL Rank

2015 Record

39-47

Runs/Game

3.8

12th

Runs/Game

4.4

9th

NL Central

4th

OBP

311

10th

H/9

8.5

3rd

Last 10

4-6

SLG

399

6th

BB/9

3.4

13th

Last 30

14-16

Steals

85

1st

SO/9

7.2

13th

The Reds have struggled even worse than the Indians this year. They find themselves a massive 15.5 games behind the best team in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals. But they too are not completely out of it yet as they are 7.5 games back of the second wild card. Since the Indians swept them, the Reds have treaded water mostly, with a 21-22 record. They finished the first half on a down note, being swept by the Brewers, taking two from the Nationals and losing three of four to the Marlins.

-

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $3 to join and first place wins $8,000. Enter now!

-

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Brayan Pena

S

231

283

676

91

1B

Joey Votto

L

370

277

876

143

2B

Brandon Phillips

R

314

275

679

87

3B

Todd Frazier

R

374

284

922

151

SS

Eugenio Suarez

R

97

311

825

129

LF

Marlon Byrd

R

266

241

746

103

CF

Billy Hamilton

S

316

220

555

52

RF

Jay Bruce

L

343

251

806

119

OF

Skip Schumaker

L

134

218

608

67

C

Tucker Barnhart

S

105

247

666

78

IF

Ivan DeJesus

R

70

246

731

101

OF

Jason Bourgeois

R

12

167

333

-17

The only major change to the lineup since May is the loss of Zach Cosart for the season. Suarez takes over for him. He was with the Tigers last year but was the return for Alfredo Simon.

Votto still is the main cog in this offense, but Frazier is making a claim as their best hitter. Phillips has definitely declined this year, but is still great in the field. And I am not sure how much longer they can keep Hamilton in the lineup. He does have an incredible 44 steals, but really struggles to get on base.

Heading to the break, Bruce was the leader of the offense, slashing 367/424/700 over their last 8 games. Suarez, DeJesus and Votto all cleared the 800 OPS mark in that same timeframe, but Hamiton and Pena were both sub 400 OPS.

The entire team struggled in the sweep, with a 212/240/333 line and Marlon Byrd the only one connecting on a long ball. Bruce was smoking hot, 1250 OPS and scored 2 of their six runs. Votto had an 833 OPS himself, no surprise as he loves playing Cleveland, but the rest of the team hit terribly.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Johnny Cueto

R

2.73

3.06

118.2

0.90

8.6

Mike Leake

R

4.08

4.15

114.2

1.24

6.2

Anthony DeSclafani

R

3.65

3.79

101.0

1.37

6.6

Michael Lorenzen

R

3.53

5.71

71.1

1.47

5.9

Raisel Iglesius

R

5.90

3.25

29.0

1.52

8.4

Aroldis Chapman

L

1.69

1.71

37.1

1.18

15.7

J.J. Hoover

R

1.41

2.87

38.1

0.94

6.6

Burke Badenhop

R

5.03

3.84

34.0

1.38

4.0

Ryan Mattheus

R

4.63

3.51

23.1

1.50

5.8

Pedro Villarreal

R

4.82

5.54

18.2

1.77

3.4

Manny Parra

L

4.41

3.20

16.1

1.16

7.2

Carlos Contreras

R

6.08

6.98

13.1

1.50

4.7

Nathan Adcock

R

5.11

5.56

12.1

1.54

6.6

The Jason Marquis experiment finally ended as Iglesius has taken over his spot in the rotation. And the bullpen has had a major turnover with a bunch of new faces, although none appear to be improvements so far.

Leake took the loss in the previous series opener giving up five runs in just four innings with Moss taking him deep. He had two decent starts in his past four, one terrible one where the Twins lit him up for seven runs, but finished strong, shutting out the Marlins over 8 innings with just three hits and ten strikeouts. DeSclafani lost a duel to Kluber previously, giving up just three hits but two runs. He was not sharp heading into the break with a 4.63 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 8.1 K/9. The Tribe missed Cueto in the last series. He has been on fire lately, a 1.93 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 8.7 K/9. He is 4-0 in six starts against Cleveland, 2.08 ERA covering 43.1 innings, 0.95 WHIP and 7.1 K/9.

On the Shelf

  • SP Homer Bailey [60 day DL], out for season
  • RP Sean Marshall [60 day DL], no timetable for return
  • C Devin Mesoraco [60 day DL], out for season
  • RP Tony Cingrani [15 day DL], on AAA rehab, could be activated this series
  • SS Zach Cozart [60 day DL], out for season
  • P Jon Moscot [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

3

0

1000

14

6

825

2014

1

3

250

12

22

248

Last 5*

13

13

500

117

127

463

Last 10*

26

30

464

258

261

495

All-Time

48

44

522

451

412

541

Prediction: The Tribe still has been very good on the road. I am hoping the time off has got them rested but not rusty. I'll call for a series win 2-1.