The Cincinnati Reds take on the Washington Nationals in Cincinnati today. These teams split the first two games of this series with two games to play. The Reds won the first game of this series convincingly, while the Nationals battled back to win the second game of this series behind three Lane Thomas home runs. However, I think that will be tough for the Nationals to replicate today. The Nationals are now 19-35 on the season and 10-17 on the road. However, in the past month, they are 10-17 overall and just 4-10 on the road. On the other hand, the Cincinnati Reds started slow before heating up. The Reds are just 18-33 overall, but they are 10-13 at home this season. In the past month, the Reds are tied for the sixth best record in the league. They are 15-11 including a 9-6 record at home.
Tyler Mahle will face off against Erik Fedde today in a battle of inconsistent pitchers. Both of these pitchers are more than capable of pitching a gem, but both these pitchers are also capable of getting blown up at any moment. Tyler Mahle allowed just one hit in his last outing after getting rocked by the Cubs at home. He has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five games but in the fifth game he allowed eight runs. That makes me think the one bad start was the aberration. The Nationals had been on fire against right-handed pitchers, but they have cooled off lately. In the past month, they are ranked just 21st in the league in wOBA against righties after being in the top five the month before. The Reds on the other hand, are ranked 11th in the league in wOBA against righties. Erik Fedde is also coming off a start where he allowed 6 earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched to the Mets.
Neither team has a very good bullpen, especially if they go down. However, both teams are able to close games out if they get the lead. Both teams have one or two relievers they can trust to close it out, and both teams have all their bullpen arms completely rested. I think we are getting good value after the Nats won yesterday but Lane Thomas is much better against lefties and Mike Minor was making his first appearance this season. I think the righty in Tyler Mahle should be able to handle the Nationals bats today, I like the Reds at home.