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Series preview: Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds

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Hey, this team looks familiar.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians absolutely thrashed the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff over the past two games, burning through their starting pitchers and bullpen like it was nothing. Normally when this happens in a series, the next team gets to take advantage of a burned out 'pen, but with these back-to-back series, the Indians will be the beneficiary of their own great hitting last series.

The best thing Cleveland could do against the Reds would be to knock their starting pitchers out early again. For one, because the Reds bullpen is historically awful, and two they are going to be exhausted already.

Matchups

  • Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. ET: Mike Clevinger (RHP) vs. Brandon Finnegan (LHP)
  • Thursday, 7:10 p.m. ET: Josh Tomlin (RHP) vs. Tim Adleman (RHP)

If you could not tell by the wall of posts on our front page right now, Mike Clevinger is making his MLB debut today. He will be going up against Brandon Finnegan, a lefty with a 4.40 ERA over 43.0 innings this season.

Little Cowboy will handle the second, and final, game of this two-game set which is guaranteed to be a win if Clevinger loses in his debut.

Upcoming schedule: The Indians will remain on the road for their next two series against the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, including a doubleheader next Monday. Following that they return home to face the inexplicably amazing Baltimore Orioles.

Team in a Box

Cincinnati Reds

Offense

NL Rank

Pitching

NL Rank

Record

15-24

R/G

4.10

11th

ERA

5.56

15th

NL Central

Last

OBP

.294

13th

HR/9

1.75

15th

Last 10

3-7

SLG

.399

11th

BB/9

4.61

15th

Streak

L2

Steals

24

5th

SO/9

7.28

14th

It would have been really difficult for the Reds pitching staff to be ranked much worse after the last series, considering they were already last or second-to-last in just about everything. But, for some perspective on what averaging 14 runs against does to your team pitching stats: Their walks per nine were raised by 0.39, their strikeouts per nine were dropped by 0.03 and their earned run average was raised by 0.48. But hey, their home runs per nine dropped by 0.03. Silver linings!

Reds position players

  • C: Tucker Barnhart
  • 1B: Joey Votto
  • 2B: Brandon Phillips
  • SS: Zack Cozart
  • 3B: Eugenio Suarez
  • LF: Adam Duvall
  • CF: Billy Hamilton
  • RF: Jay Bruce
Reds bench
  • C: Jordan Pacheco
  • IF: Ivan De Jesus Jr.
  • C: Ramon Cabrera
  • IF: Jose Peraza
  • OF: Tyler Holt

Reds starting pitchers

  • LHP: Brandon Finnegan
  • RHP: Alfredo Simon
  • RHP: Dan Straily
  • RHP: Tim Adleman
  • LHP: John Lamb
Reds bullpen
  • LHP: Tony Cingrani
  • RHP: Caleb Cotham
  • RHP: Ross Ohlendorf
  • RHP: Blake Wood
  • RHP: JC Ramirez
  • RHP: Drew Hayes
  • RHP: Steve Delabar
  • RHP: Layne Somsen

Not much to say here, considering it's the same exact lineup and pitching staff from the last two games. The big difference today and tomorrow is, of course, that these games are being played in a National League park with inferior National League rules. Meaning no designated hitter and we get to watch pitchers pretend to get at-bats while avoiding injuries.

Strategy!