Brewers vs Reds series preview

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers got wrecked the first time they faced the Reds losing 3 out of 4. Will it be any different this time?

The Reds offense sucks. Let me quick check to see if they're still batting Billy Hamilton lead-off. Yep. They sure are. Let's all point and laugh.

Friday June 13th 7:10 pm CT: Matt Garza vs Homer Bailey

Poor Homer Bailey. I really thought he was turning into a solid 2 pitcher after 2013. This year has seen him take a pretty big step back. His K%-BB%, while respectable, has gone back to career norms. His batting average against and WHIP have shot up. He's also getting beat over the head with home runs (1.29 HR/9). The velocity is still good and I do think he's a better pitcher than this.

Saturday June 14th 6:10 pm CT: Yovani Gallardo vs Mat Latos

Mat Latos is making his first start of the year after being sidelined with an elbow issue. This makes me sad for two reasons. Tony Cingrani was originally slated to start this game, which I'll be in attendance for, and that meant my favorite lineup would be in play with Rickie Weeks at second. I'm also sad because Mat Latos a much better pitcher. He might be more of a 3 than a 1/2 but he's good. He's got everything you want in a starter: Good velocity (92-93 mph), good K% (though it's slowly been slipping for a few years), good BB%, home runs not an issue. Brewers have their work cut out for them. Latos did have some hiccups in his recent rehab starts. His second to last rehab start was cut short due to calf strain. Then his last start was cut short due to rain. It's possible the Reds will want to be careful with his pitch count.

Sunday June 15th 1:10 pm CT: Marco Estrada vs TBD (But probably Mike Leake)

The Reds haven't officially said who's coming out of the rotation, but it's totally Tony Cingrani which should make us sad. Mike Leake was originally going to start Sunday's game so I very much doubt they keep Cingrani in the rotation and push Leake's start back a day.

Leake is having a pretty solid year. He's a pitch to contact guy, so strikeouts aren't huge, but his K% this year is better than it has been in years. His BB% is elite right now. He's also getting a ton of groundballs (56.9%). I feel like the Brewers always have a tough time against ground ball heavy pitchers. I have a bad feeling about this game...

Of note for the Brewers: I still love Marco Estrada, but he hurts me so...

Conclusion

Brewers are lucky to miss Johnny Cueto but they aren't exactly catching a break with the pitchers they are going to face. Add to that the Brewers are rolling with their two starters that have struggled the most. It seems like a recipe for disaster. The Reds offense sucks though. I mean, really really sucks. They're second to last in runs scored with 3.46 R/G. I don't have any good guesses as to the outcome. My heart says 2 out of 3 but my think meat is telling me 1 out of 3.

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