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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds

Brewers head to Great American Ball Park to face a not-so-great Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images

The road trip moves north as the Brewers start a three-game set against the last-place Cincinnati Reds. They make their first trip to Great American Ball Park in 2022, a place where they have a 22-10 record since 2018.

Christian Yelich has been one of the best hitters against the Reds in recent years. Since joining the Brewers in 2018, Yelich leads the league in home runs (16) and RBI (44) against the Reds, per Mike Vassallo. He has slashed .318/.426/.650 with an .OPS of 1.075 in that time against Cincinnati.

The Brewers will try to bounce back after losing back-to-back games for the first time since April 15th and 16th. They still enter the series with a 2.5-game lead over the Cardinals for first in the division. Meanwhile, the lowly Reds are still pulling up the rear, as they have the worst record in all of baseball at 5-23. They do enter Monday having won two of their last three games, their best three-game stretch so far this season.

The Reds will be missing some key players at least early in the series as both Joey Votto and Nick Senzel start the series on the COVID-19 injured list. Votto was placed on the IL on May 3 despite not testing positive for the virus. Manager David Bell said at the time it was precautionary and that he was day-to-day. The 38-year-old Votto has been struggling, slashing just .122/.278/.135 with just 3 RBI. The following day, Senzel, along with Tyler Naquin, was sent to the COVID-19 list. He is listed as day-to-day.

For the Brewers, Andrew McCutchen remains out to start the series. He was put on the COVID-19 injured list on May 7.

Probable Pitchers

Game 1 Monday, 5:40 CT: Brandon Woodruff vs Luis Castillo

Brandon Woodruff will make back-to-back starts against the Reds. His last appearance was in Milwaukee when he recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts en route to the victory. The Brewers have won four of Woodruff’s first five starts this season.

Luis Castillo will make his first start of the season Monday after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the first month of the season. The 29-year-old right-hander struggled in 2021, accumulating an 8-16 record with a 3.98 ERA.

Game 2 Tuesday, 5:40 CT: Freddy Peralta vs Hunter Greene

Slowly we are beginning to see Freddy Peralta come into his own, but he is still a ways away from the pitcher we saw in 2021. He did tie a season-best with seven strikeouts in his last appearance but still gave up three runs. Opposing hitters are doing a good job against Peralta of getting hard-hit balls, as his hard-hit % is up to 45% to start the season. His most used pitch, the fastball, is only getting a whiff% of 25.7% in 2022, compared to 31% last season.

The hard-throwing Hunter Greene will face the Brewers again after he gave up eight earned runs to them Thursday. The Reds rookie is the hardest throwing pitcher in all of baseball, setting the record for most pitches thrown over 100 mph in a single game with 39 earlier this year. While he can light up the radar gun, opponents have been lighting up the scoreboard so far this season against him, as he enters Tuesday with an ERA of 8.71.

Game 3 Wednesday, 11:35 CT: Adrian Houser vs Vladimir Gutierrez

Adrian Houser will bring his three-game win streak into the final game of the series Wednesday afternoon. The Reds were able to find success against Houser the last time they faced him, scoring five runs in five innings. The Brewers have given Houser some great run support recently, scoring 26 runs across his last three starts.

Not much has gone right so far for Vladimir Gutierrez, who sits at a record of 0-5 with an 8.86 ERA. The right-hander has yet to make it past 4.2 innings this season, and his strikeout percentage of 12.1% is one of the worst in baseball.