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Astros at Reds, Game 2 - Preview and Lineups

Justin Verlander looms large.

Milwaukee Brewers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Tonight, the fans at Great American Ball Park will have the opportunity to watch one of the very best to ever do it when Justin Verlander takes the mound versus the Cincinnati Reds. While Verlander’s level of dominance of the course of his career could mean a long evening for these Redlegs, it’s also kind of neat to be able to see a great pitcher in person, considering that Verlander has mostly plied his talents in the other league for all of his career.

Verlander has pitched in GABP only one other time in his career, all the way back in 2012. The Reds managed six hits and two earned runs in Verlander’s six innings pitched, striking out nine times. This was just one year removed from Verlander winning the American League MVP and Cy Young awards, and the season where he’d finish runner-up to the AL Cy Young for the first time.

That, you may remember, was a really good Cincinnati Reds team. It was also the only time he’s faced Cincinnati. Joey Votto received three plate appearances in that game, where he doubled and walked (it was 2012, so of course Joey doubled and walked). Of those in tonight’s Reds lineup, only Yasiel Puig has faced Verlander other than Votto. He’s fared... less well, hitting .125/.300/.125 in 10 plate appearances.

As for 2019, Verlander is still Verlandering. He struck out 15 Brewers batters his last time out, and owns a 2.41 ERA on the season. His 0.725 WHIP and 4.8 H/9 lead all of Major League Baseball, while his 3.6 bWAR is second in the American League among pitchers (and fourth among all players).

It all spells out a really long night for the Reds, though they do have bats with the track record to shock us every now and again...

The Reds will go with Anthony DeSclafani, who is facing the Astros for the first time in his career. Disco’s had a very up and down season for the Reds, but has surrendered only two earned runs over his last 10.2 innings pitched over two starts against St. Louis and Cleveland. Here’s to hoping he’s getting back to more of his April ways than his May performances.

Reds lineup

Astros lineup