The Cincinnati Reds powered past the St. Louis Cardinals in their series finale on Sunday, salvaging a game from an otherwise lost home series. Welcoming back the likes of Hunter Greene, Joey Votto, and Jonathan India certainly helped, and the latter two will be back in action today when the Reds begin a crucial road series in Detroit against the Tigers.
The Reds have gone just 14-16 over their last 30 games and 15-22 since the beginning of August (and since their inaction at the trade deadline), their slump sending them from first place in the National League Central division race to sitting 2.0 games out of the final NL Wild Card spot. With both the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants between the Reds and Arizona (the occupants of the final Wild Card spot), it’s imperative that Cincinnati pick up the pace significantly over their final 17 games to have any sort of shot at making the playoffs.
They’ll hope that Brandon Williamson gives them a big boost in that regard tonight, as the rookie lefty will return to the mound for the first time since August 29th. COVID sidelined him during that window, though he’d run off an excellent stretch of 11 starts where he’d pitched to a 3.15 ERA and 3.65 FIP prior to being put on the isolated pine. Hopefully he can rekindle that form immediately against a Tigers club that boasts just an 89 wRC+ as a team against LHP so far this season. That’s the fourth worst mark in the game, for the record.
The Reds collective 96 wRC+ against LHP isn’t a ton better, however, and they’ll be up against a lefty as well in Joey Wentz. The return of Votto and India to the lineup should certainly help their chances, as will recent additions Harrison Bader and Hunter Renfroe, in theory.
First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET.