4:10 PM EDT
The Reds will try to salvage a split in their four game series against Los Angeles. However, in order to do so, they will have to defeat Cy Young frontrunner Zack Greinke on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Anthony DeSclafani will try to match the Dodgers' righty pitch for pitch.
Greinke is having a career year even by his lofty standards. In 158.1 innings so far, he has given up only 28 earned runs, equating to an outstanding 1.59 ERA. While averaging 8.1 strikeouts for every 9 innings, he is averaging only 6.1 hits during the same frame. He has an ERA+ of 231 and a FIP of 2.60 if we wanted to give Dodger infielders some credit.
If there's one player on the Reds that has given Greinke some problems (and there has been exactly one Red to do so), it would be Joseph Daniel Votto. Lifetime against Greinke, Votto is 10 for 24 with 3 home runs and 3 doubles. He has struck out only once against Greinke while garnering 4 walks in 28 plate appearances. This adds up to an OPS of 1.417. Unfortunately, this begins and ends the list of Reds with decent career stats against Greinke. Jay Bruce is 5 for 30 lifetime with 8 strikeouts. Likewise, Marlon Byrd has only gathered 3 hits in 26 at bats while striking out 9 times.
Anthony DeSclafani will make his second career start against Los Angeles and his first as a Red. In his career debut for the Marlins in 2014, DeSclafani went 6 innings against Los Angeles, giving up 2 runs and striking out 7 to earn his first win as a big leaguer. However, that was a Dodger team without Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal in the lineup.
If the Reds win, they could come within 23 games of 1st place. Hooray. Go Reds.
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