The Cincinnati Reds are in the City of Brotherly Love to get booed by Phillies fans for the weekend, but at least they’ll have a chance to face off against former affable teammate Jay Bruce. Bruce, of course, was traded to Philadelphia by the Seattle Mariners earlier in the week and had proceeded to bonk dingers at the kind of prolific pace that we saw from him when he first broke into the Reds lineup all those years ago.
Hopefully, that won’t be something that phases Reds starter Tyler Mahle, even though his 20.0% HR/FB rate ranks tied for the 6th highest in all MLB among qualified pitchers.
Mahle, meanwhile, will share the mound with Phillies starter Zach Eflin, whose surface stats suggest is having a pretty decent season. At least, that’s what his 3.02 ERA would suggest. However, he’s the owner of a much more unsightly 4.35 FIP and 4.80 xFIP, and his 1.37 HR/9 suggests he’s almost as dinger-prone as Mahle so far this season.
What I’m saying, I think, is that tonight’s game in Philly - where it’s currently a balmy 81 degrees - might well end up with some fireworks offensively.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. Go Reds, go.