After four days off due to a positive Coronavirus test, the Reds returned to the field last night to begin a 10-game road trip. Taking on the Royals in Kansas City, the Reds managed a split of the doubleheader winning the second game 5-0 after losing game one 4-0. Trevor Bauer threw his second complete game shutout of the season in the night cap allowing just one hit.
Tonight, in the #KSReds Game of the Week, Cincinnati starts a four game series against their National League Central rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals, who have played eight games in the last five days as they try to make up for a two week hiatus due to a Coronavirus outbreak, are 6-7 on the season.
The Reds, now 10-12 on the year, will send Sonny Gray to the mound for his sixth start. Sonny has been outstanding so far this season showcasing a 2.05 Earned Run Average and a 4-1 record. Opposite Gray will be 38 year old veteran Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals. Wainwright is 2-0 on the season with a 1.50 ERA in two starts.
First pitch at Busch Stadium in St. Louis this evening is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Tune in to watch two great pitchers battle it out on the mound.
Joey Votto remains in the leadoff spot this evening after hitting there in both games of yesterday’s doubleheader. The 36 year old Votto has struggled at the plate of late, batting just .227 on the season. However, he is still getting on base at a .370 clip thanks a team-leading 15 walks. For his career, Votto is batting 17-51 (.333) with 3 Home Runs and 9 RBI against Adam Wainwright.
Jesse Winker and his hot bat will hit in the three spot. Playing Left Field tonight, Winker has now homered in six of his last nineteen at-bats and is 18 for his last 32 at the plate (.563 Batting Average). His .357 average on the season is fourth best in Major League Baseball.
Batting cleanup, Eugenio Suarez smacked his 150th career Home Run last night in the Reds 5-0 victory over the Royals. He also singled in the seventh inning which gave him his first multi-hit game of the 2020 season. Suarez is batting .141 with just seven runs batted in.
On the season, the Reds have hit 37 Home Runs which is tied for eighth most in baseball. Despite the high number of long balls, Cincinnati ranks just 22nd in the league in Runs Batted In with 95.
Sonny Gray will look to become the first pitcher in Major League Baseball this season to earn his fifth victory on the mound. Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians could also achieve that feat this evening. Gray will also try to extend his MLB record streak of starts giving up six or fewer hits. His record currently sits at 38 consecutive starts. Gray’s 45 strikeouts so far this season are also the most through five starts in Cincinnati Reds history.
As usual, veteran Paul Goldschmidt is among the leaders in Major League Baseball in batting average. In the Cardinals 13 games this season he is hitting a team-leading .349. Goldschmidt will bat third for the Cards this evening.
Other familiar names to the Cardinals lineup like Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter are in there as well to face Sonny Gray tonight. Both of the veteran infielders have played in every game this season while the Cardinals have juggled nearly every other position during their chaotic 2020 campaign. Carpenter leads the team with 11 Runs Batted In through just 13 games.
Nine time Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina will be behind for the first time since July 29th after being reinstated from the Injured List today.
On the mound, Adam Wainwright will be a familiar face for Reds fans. The 38 year old right-hander will be making his 28th career start against the Reds, the most by any active pitcher in baseball. Despite his long, successful career, Wainwright actually has struggled against the Reds over the years. For his career, he is 10-12 with a 5.25 ERA, and just 3-6 with a 6.08 ERA in Busch Stadium agains the Reds.