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09 Jul 2018

Cincinnati Reds Vs. Cleveland Indians: Lineups, preview, & prediction (July 9, 2018)

Cincinnati Reds Vs. Cleveland Indians: Lineups, preview,
& prediction (July 9, 2018)

The Reds head across Ohio to take on Cleveland for a three-game series with the Indians. Who will take game one?

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Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) Vs. Mike Clevinger (RHP)

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Projected lineups

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Who's hot, and who's not

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Prediction 

(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Cincinnati head to Cleveland after a 2-1 series defeat in Chicago to the Cubs, which came down to a 6-5 extra innings defeat on Sunday. The Reds sent Luis Castillo to the mound for the game, but only got four innings out of him as he allowed three runs on six hits and two walks, fortunately the Reds lineup were able to get to Cubs starter Jon Lester as well, as Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run shot off the lefty. However, the Reds were down 5-4 going into the ninth inning when Adam Duvall hit a solo shot to tie the game up. Unfortunately, the Cubs were too good in the tenth, as they drew two walks, plus an intentional one, from Jackson Stephens to score the winning run.

The Indians come into this cross-state series off a 2-1 series loss to the Athletics and a 6-0 defeat last night. Shane Bieber had a tough time on the mound, going six innings and allowing four runs. The bullpen couldn't stop the bleeding, meanwhile the offense managed just five hits all day in a disappointing poor performance.

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) Vs. Mike Clevinger (RHP)

The Reds righty missed all of 2017, and has made just six starts this year but his return hasn't gone as planned. He's posting a 5.08 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP, and has struggled to get out of the sixth inning. He has also allowed at least two runs in every start. This isn't a strong pitching option for the Reds, but it is one they have to use. DeSclafani comes into today on the back of a 5.1 inning, five-run no decision against the White Sox.

Mike Clevinger has been in strong form this year, posting a 3.11 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, as well as slashing his walk rate from the previous two years. However, there are a few poor starts mixed into Clevinger's 2018. He has allowed four or more runs in four starts. He comes into this one after a six-inning, three run win against the Athletics.

Projected lineups

Reds Lineup Home Runs Batting Average On-Base Percentage
Schebler, RF11.273.346
Gennett, 2B14.326.368
Votto, 1B8.292.425
Suarez, 3B19.315.405
Duvall, LF14.204.286
Winker, DH6.276.387
Barnhart, C5.254.334
Peraza, SS5.277.326
Hamilton, CF3.231.313
Indians Lineup Home Runs Batting Average On-Base Percentage
Lindor, SS23.298.374
Brantley, LF11.306.351
Ramirez, 3B24.292.395
Encarnacion, DH20.232.311
Alonso, 1B12.254.322
Kipnis, 2B7.216.302
Gomes, C10.247.309
Naquin, RF2.260.295
Allen, CF1.212.254

Who's hot, and who's not

Jesse Winker is in fine form for the Reds right now, hitting .368 over the last two weeks with two homers. Eugenio Suarez is also playing well at the plate, with a .327 average and three homers. The lineup is also getting power from Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler, and Adam Duvall. A few of the regulars are struggling at the plate, with Duvall hitting just .209 in the last two weeks, and Tucker Barnhart hitting just .200.

Francisco Lindor is the fire of the Indians lineup in recent weeks. He has five homers in the last two weeks along with a .340 average. Jose Ramirez is also playing well, with a pair of homers, a .308 average, and an amazing eight steals. With those two playing well the performances of Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley make this lineup deadly, even with Edwin Encarnacion managing just a .220 average in the last two weeks.

Prediction

The Indians are just 8-9 in games Mike Clevinger starts, but this should be a win. Their hot lineup can take advantage of the shaky Anthony DeSclafani, and while the Reds have good enough form in their lineup to get some offense on Clevinger, but I can't see them being able to keep up with what the Indians have at the plate today.