On the surface, the last outing from Nick Lodolo was a cromulent one. He issued nary a walk, struck out 7 Oakland A’s, and allowed just 3 ER in 5.0 IP, exiting early after just 70 pitches as manager David Bell opted to lean on the Cincinnati Reds bullpen.
The problem, though, is one we’ve seen far too much of this year - the dingers. Lodolo was tagged for 2 in the Oakland Coliseum, bringing the total he’s allowed over his last 3 GS to an alarming 7 (in just 13.2 total IP).
Digging a little bit deeper, 7 of the 8 total homers he has allowed this season have come against right-handed hitters, the strong-side of platoons against him owning an impressive 1.050 OPS off him in 123 PA. That’s a far cry from the minuscule .561 OPS against him put up by lefties, as one would expect, but keeping righties in the yard will be paramount for him today against the potentially dinger-happy Chicago White Sox.
It’s also worth pointing out that, so far, Lodolo’s best work has come outside of GABP. In it, he’s yielded 6 homers and a brutal 1.159 OPS in 4 GS, his 3.57 K/BB in his home park a far cry from the 9.50 mark in his pair of road starts. That’s going to have to change, obviously, and today marks his first chance to begin to correct it.
The Cincinnati bats, meanwhile, need to wake the heck up. For all the reasons why Lodolo allowing more homers in GABP than elsewhere make sense, it’s almost absurd that Cincinnati’s hitters have mustered a meager .113 ISO in total all year - that’s the third lowest mark in all of baseball. Only two teams in the game have mustered fewer homers, a big reason why only the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Guardians have lower collective wRC+ marks than the Reds (at 81.) Getting to Mike Clevinger, Chicago’s starter for the day, is an absolute must.
First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET, and unlike last night’s Apple TV+ broadcast, this one’s back on the normal streams.
(And no, the Reds haven’t called any of their elite AAA hitting prospects up yet. They did activate Wil Myers and designate Matt Reynolds for assignment, though, so there’s that.)
White Sox Lineup
TBD, again, because they just don’t like releasing it at normal times like other clubs, apparently.