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Reds at Cubs, Game Two - Preview and Lineups

Let’s try this again.

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

This is the 50th game of the 2021 Cincinnati Reds season. Last season, you’ll recall they played a grand total of 60 games in the regular season. In other words, we’re getting very close to a sample size of games where - like it, or not - things become more concrete realities.

A quick glance at the MLB pitching leaderboard shows that 119 pitchers have thrown at least 40 innings so far this season. Not a single one has a worse ERA than Luis Castillo at 7.61, a full run higher than Dylan Bundy and Matt Harvey, who rank next to him on that list. You can tell me that his FIP is much better, though still bad, and you’d be right. You can tell me his xERA is much better, though still iffy, and you’d be right. You can cite absurd BABIP and awful LOB%, and those are pertinent, and do suggest that he’s been unlucky in his own right.

The problem is, he’s been much worse than the usual Luis Castillo is and unlucky on top of that. Half of that you expect to begin to normalize at some point, but the other half is going to take him simply not leaving so many meatballs over the plate in predictable fashion.

Hopefully, both begin their turnaround today against the Chicago Cubs, as Luis will toe the rubber for the Cincinnati Reds in Wrigley today with a chance to help salvage the series. The Reds are 6 games back in the NL Central and hold the 4th worst record in the NL at the moment, and if they’re going to turn this ship around at any point in a season where ownership is going to jump at any excuse to shed more payroll, well, that shit’s gotta start happening right now.

First pitch is set for 2:20 PM ET once again.

Go Luis, Go Reds.

Reds Lineup

Cubs Lineup