The Cardinals play three games in a music box against the Reds for a short road trip – Series preview

The Reds have a brand new team. If you were a 2020 Reds fan or even 2021 Reds fans, and you were magically transported to August 2022 and watched the Reds, you wouldn’t recognize them. Unfortunately for the Reds, new and young are not synonymous as they are not a particularly young team. Only four players are 25 or younger on the active roster, and none are under 24. If you expand it to include injured players, you add four more players, although the Reds have 18 players on the injured list at the moment. Hunter Greene is the youngest on the MLB roster at 23.

Eleven players who are on the 26-man roster were acquired in 2022. Yes, eleven players. Almost half of their squad weren’t even in the Reds organization last year. Another 10 players entered this year with less than a year of service time in the big leagues, including seven players who had less than 30 days of service time. Four were MLB free agent contracts, one was a minor league free agent, three were trades, two were claimed mid-season, and one was purchased from Cardinals Austin Romine.

Yes, if you thought the Cardinals receiver production was bad, meet the Cincinnati Reds, with a duo of Austin Romine (23 wRC+) and Chuckie Robinson (6 strikeouts in the first 10 PA). After Joey Votto’s season-ending injury, he is replaced by former Pirate and Cardinal Killer Colin Moran. Rookie of the Year winner Jonathan India has gotten his season back on track and his current double play partner and former top 100 prospect Jose Barrero hasn’t touched anything (22 wRC+ in 204 career AP). Kyle Farmer has since moved to 3B. Donovan Solano will be playing somewhere and actually has a 129 wRC+ despite having less than 200 AP because he’s been injured most of the year.

In the outfield, they have Jake Fraley in the pack with Stuart Fairchild. Fraley has a 112 wRC+ but – surprise – spent most of the year injured. Regular center Nick Senzel has been injured in recent games, but let’s hope he’s healthy for this series as he has a 72 wRC+ on the year. TJ Friedl, with a 93 wRC+, was in his place. As for the Reds’ bullpen, they don’t seem to have a closer named, although Alexis Diaz has their most recent save and happens to be their best reliever. The rest of their relievers seem to range from okay as average relief to downright bad. Diaz is really the only guy stopping.

Monday – 5:40 p.m.

Miles Mikolas (3.35 ERA/3.72 FIP/3.81 xFIP) vs. Chase Anderson (AAA stats: 4.50 ERA/5.46 FIP/5.09 xFIP)

Alright, so the Reds are suddenly pitch-starved. In August, Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft landed on the IL, and they both join Connor Overton, Vladmir Guitterez, and uh, TJ Zeuch whose charts I didn’t even know were released. He was picked up by the Reds, allowed 18 runs in 10.2 innings in three starts and landed on the IL. So now they turn to Anderson, who has played for two organizations before, both in AAA and he opted out of both for a chance in MLB. What he gets now. But he was not very good in AAA.

Mikolas has made two starts against the Reds this year and actually lit up in one of them, allowing six runs at Great American Ballpark. He had a better start at Busch, but we are at GABP tomorrow. And … going through his history, he has a good start there (1 ER in 7 IP), a good start (3 ER in 6 IP) and three very bad (5 ER in 5 IP, 4 ER in 3 IP, and earlier this year 6 ER in 5 IP). I don’t like predicting sweeps, Mikolas had a lot of trouble at GABP and this looks like a disappointing game.

My pick: Reds

Tuesday – 5:40 p.m.

Dakota Hudson (4.23 ERA/4.41 FIP/4.81 xFIP) vs. Justin Dunn (5.12 ERA/7.31 FIP/5.48 xFIP)

To defend Dunn’s stats, that’s a grand total of 4 starts. But projection systems don’t like it much either. In AAA, he had a 6.92 ERA with a 6.15 FIP. The reds are really desperate to start casting right now. They just don’t have the depth to deal with the injuries they’ve suffered.

The Reds could be a good match for Hudson. Against RHP this year, they have the 25th-lowest walk rate in baseball and that includes Joey Votto taking a good chunk of AP, which won’t be in this series. In a twist from Mikolas, Hudson threw a bad game against the Reds at Busch and a good one at GABP. In fact, Hudson doesn’t seem to have a huge problem throwing at GABP, as he has three starts with a 1.93 ERA in three starts.

My pick: Maps

Wednesday – 5:40 p.m.

Jose Quintana (3.45 ERA/3.28 FIP/3.83 xFIP) vs. Mike Minor (6.10 ERA/5.89 FIP/5.05 xFIP)

If you have the capital and the time, this is the start of the descent to Cincinnati and the pencil. Albert Pujols is guaranteed a start and well, Minor is a very homerable hitter. I won’t because I don’t have either, just a warning. Minor has been a starter for most of his career and I would recommend him getting back into the reliever. He did it once before, with a 2.2 fWAR season, then turned that into a regular rotation job for the next four years. He probably can’t do it again, but maybe he can be good in the bullpen.

Quintana is coming off two rough starts, the first because he clearly didn’t have it, and the second he just ran into bad luck and a good batting team against southpaws. The latter was always going to be a tough game. The Reds are easier, Great American Ballpark is not an easy place to pitch.

My pick: Maps

Individual match prediction: 34-26

Series Prediction: 7-12

For the second week in a row I ignored my instincts and if I had followed my instincts I would have been 8-10 in the series. (I also blatantly threw a 5-game Cubs series and predicted 5 wins because I couldn’t pick the Cubs) My gut told me to predict a sweep against the DBacks and predict a win Saturday since I was going to the game. I don’t know if the Cardinals will actually lose tonight, but I feel like predicting a loss works both ways: my gut tells me it’s going to be a disappointing game and the Cards have a better chance if I don’t predict. not a scan. since I’m clearly bad at predicting playoffs. Somehow doing pretty well on individual games. Would have thought they would be returned given how random baseball is. (In hindsight, I probably should have said predicted a 2-1 streak win and got a sweep instead as a correct prediction since I correctly predicted a streak win, but I had to be accurate)

Kimberly B. Nguyen