After a lengthy delay of over an hour due to some lighting issues on Tuesday, the three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (15-21) and the Oakland Athletics (16-21) finally got started from the Coliseum in Oakland. For the Reds, the delay was a sign of a long night to come, while for Mike Fiers and the A’s, it was well worth the wait. The A’s were able to take game one of the series 2-0 behind a no-hitter from Mike Fiers. Coming off of the adrenaline of game one, they will look to add another as they work towards getting back to .500 on the season.
Neither of these teams has gotten off to the start they wanted, and with the likes of the Cubs and Cardinals in the NL Central and the Astros in the AL West, both clubs know they need to get it turned around sooner than later. Starting for both teams on Wednesday will be Sonny Gray (0-4, 3.89 ERA) for the Reds and Brett Anderson (4-2, 3.89 ERA) for the A’s. First pitch for this one is scheduled for 10:07 pm ET, assuming no more lighting issues.
The moneyline for Wednesday’s game is set at the Cincinnati Reds +110 and the Oakland Athletics -120. The over/under for runs scored is set at 8.5.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, both of these teams come in struggling. Oakland currently ranks 18th in the majors in runs scored (4.69) but are only averaging 3.88 at home. For the Reds, they come in averaging 4.20 (good for 22nd overall) but are only averaging 3.30 on the road. Needless to say, this one might not be a slugfest.
From a pitching perspective, Cincinnati has really been quite good as a staff. They currently rank 2nd in the majors with a 3.49 ERA (only trailing Tampa Bay and their ridiculous 2.90 ERA). Away from Cincinnati, they are averaging a 3.70 ERA in 2019. For the A’s, they currently rank 19th in ERA, allowing 4.61 runs per nine innings. Despite the lofty number, they have an ERA of 3.50 at home.
Reds Look To Find Winning Ways
Having gone 4-6 in their last 10 games, the Reds are looking to put together a bit of a winning streak. To do so, they will hand the ball to former Oakland Athletic Sonny Gray. Making his first start in Oakland since being a member of the team, Gray has pitched decently this season, even if his record doesn’t suggest so. He is currently 0-4 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .202 against him. In 34.2 innings, he has allowed 25 hits, 15 earned runs, 1 home run and has struck out 38 while walking 11.
In his last start, a 12-11 loss to the Giants, Gray pitched 5 innings, giving up just 3 of the 12 runs. He allowed 4 hits and 3 earned runs, although he did walk 3 while striking out only 2. He will look to pick up his first win against Oakland on Wednesday.
Offensively, the Reds are looking for a boost. They only have one player hitting over .300, and that is Jose Iglesias (.310/.349/.450 with 2 home runs, 11 runs batted in and 13 runs scored). Derek Dietrich (9 home runs, 22 runs batted in) and Eugenio Suarez (10 home runs, 23 runs batted in) have been the biggest offensive stars thus far. The Reds would really like to get Joey Votto going, though. The perennial All-Star is hitting just .226/.341/.365 with 3 home runs and just 6 runs batted in. He has also struck out a team-leading 34 times this season.
A’s Looking To Do Damage At Home
Albeit in limited at-bats, the Oakland A’s are hoping some of their big bats can have continued success against Sonny Gray. Both Matt Chapman and Khris Davis have homered off of the righty, and Marcus Semien is 2 for 5 against him. On the season, Semien is leading the team hitting .295/.381/.439 with 4 home runs, 18 runs batted in and 21 runs scored.
Matt Chapman is also batting .295, but he has added a bit more pop with 9 home runs and 22 runs batted in. He sits just one shy of Davis, who has 10 home runs but is also hitting just .229. The A’s also welcomed back Matt Olson to hopefully be a big bat at first base moving forward.
On the mound for the A’s in this one will be veteran Brett Anderson. On the season, Anderson is 4-2 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and opponents are hitting .260 against him. In 37 innings, he has given up 38 hits, 16 earned runs and has struck out 22 while walking 14.
In his last start, a 14-1 win over the Pirates, Anderson went 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, 1 earned run and struck out 4. He will look to build off of this outing against the Reds on Wednesday.
Siding With The Reds
Looking at just the peripheral stats, it appears that the two pitchers’ records should be switched. Despite them both having the exact same earned run average, Gray has a better WHIP and opponents are hitting at a lower batting average against him. Throw on top of that the fact that he has a better strikeout-to-walk ratio and he plays most of his games in a much friendlier hitter’s park, and I much prefer Gray in this one over the likes of Brett Anderson.
Granted, Oakland’s offense has a bit more punch to it (see Tuesday’s results for a reminder of that), but it isn’t exactly like either one is setting the world on fire offensively. For my money, I am taking the Reds in this one at +110.