Monday, May 14, 2012

Reds vs. Braves "series" preview

Now that the Reds’ series victory streak was snapped at the hands of the Nationals over the weekend that just means that its time to start a new one, right? Well, they will just have to wait on that, at least in the traditional sense as they’re on the road for two games at Atlanta. It’s quick and hopefully fun, just like this preview.

So, how are the Braves doing? Quite well in fact, standing 22-13 and atop the NL East (and making everyone except Mets fans forget about starting the season on the wrong side of a puzzling series sweep). Atlanta is fresh off three wins in St. Louis, so thanks for that, guys.

Maybe it’s a good thing the Reds are playing the Braves in Atlanta as while they’ve been good at home (8-5), they’ve been beasts on the road thus far (14-8).

The Braves aren’t hitting the cover off the ball for average (.268, although that looks pretty sweet compared to the Reds’ .238), but they manufacture runs – their 189 runs are the most in the NL and second only to Texas in all of baseball.

The pitching matchups:

Monday, 7:10
Homer Bailey (1-3, 4.93) vs. Randall Delgado (2-3, 4.54)

If you have something to do and need a quick game on Monday, you may be out of luck. Homer couldn’t escape the fourth inning in a debacle at Milwaukee during his last turn and Delgado is known during his short major league tenure for piling up pitches early and often. Outside of a strong, eight inning showing vs. Philly on May 3, Delgado hasn’t pitched more than 5.2 innings in his young Braves career. His last two starts have been his best – 5.2 innings and one run at Chicago and eight innings of two-run ball with no walks vs. the Phillies.

Delgado has never faced the Reds, while Homer is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six innings vs. Atlanta.

Tuesday, 7:10
Johnny Cueto (4-0, 1.12) vs. Tim Hudson (1-1, 4.50)

Johnny has been tremendous this season, and has been firing on all cylinders during his last three turns as he’s allowed only one (1!) run in his last 23 innings. Simply put, he’s been playing the part of an ace for sure. Atlanta could be his kryptonite, though. While his total numbers against the Braves aren’t ugly at all (1-1, 3.08), six Atlanta players have batting averages over .300 against Cueto.

Hudson started the season on the DL after back surgery, but he’s proving he has plenty left in the tank as of late. The right-hander picked up the hard-luck loss in his last outing at Chicago after allowing just one run. The Reds haven’t had much success against him as he’s 3-1 vs. them, and he’s owned the Reds stars- Joey Votto is 0-6 and Brandon Phillips is 1-11 against the veteran.

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