Yu Darvish (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
Kyle Hendricks and Sonny Gray were rolling along on Wednesday at Great American Ballpark before things went up in flames for both pitching staffs. Hendricks got nailed for 7 hits and 6 earned runs in what felt like an instant. The big damage was from Nick Castellano who connected on a grand slam to clear the bases.
Sonny Gray went 6.2 innings with just 1 hit allowed, but manager David Bell pulled him at the first sense of danger. It made no sense to yank Gray that early with the way he was pitching, but as soon as Gray was gone, the bullpen nearly coughed up a 9-0 lead.
The Cubs scored 5 runs in the top of the 7th to at least make things interesting, but the Reds buckled down. Putting a runner on 3rd and 2nd is about the only mistake that Gray made all day. That prompted Bell to overthink the situation and trot out the bullpen. Interesting, but he was able to get away with that one without suffering a loss.
However, most of the time, a bullpen will give up the win in a spot like that. In any event, it was a great effort by the Reds offensively and from their starting pitcher. It was good to get Mike Moustakas back in the lineup as well. Moustakes went 2 for 2 with 2 RBI’s for a nice return to action. From last night and the rest of their games it’s pretty clear that the Reds should be fine offensively this season.
Even their starting rotation, with a 1-2 punch of Gray and Luis Castillo the Reds should be fine in that regard. Although, the relievers leave a lot to be desired. This goes for most of the major leagues, but the Reds aren’t serious contenders in the playoffs if their bullpen doesn’t improve. That’s imperative for a deep postseason run.
It’d be a massively disappointing season if they don’t reach the playoffs with more teams getting in. I think they can manage that, though. Castillo gets the nod a day after Gray was effective on Wednesday. The Cubs are expected to counter with the wildly inconsistent Yu Darvish. Head below for our free Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds pick for July 30, 2020 in MLB.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Prediction:
Yu Darvish was one of the most overrated pitchers in baseball, but I don’t think you can go that far now. Most people wouldn’t refer to Darvish as amazing at this point in his career. He’s been of a slightly above average pitcher since 2017. That’s playing below expectations because Darvish should be better than slightly average. Darvish is coming off a season where he posted an ERA of 4.95 and 3.98 in 2018 and 2019. He was only able to get eight starts in before leaving with an injury two years ago. Injuries have been a recurring theme for Darvish in his career.
Looking to get back to 2013-14 form, Darvish failed to head in that direction in his first start this season. He conceded 6 hits and 3 earned runs in 4 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his 2020 opener. Darvish exited with a 6.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. I think we have to accept Darvish for what he is now, which is a mediocre pitcher that isn’t going to get back to where he was early in his career. He has a tough matchup against a Reds’ offense that is heating up. The Reds have scored 24 runs in their previous three games for an average of 8 runs per game. They have terrific power numbers against Darvish, with 6 home runs and 16 runs in 132 at-bats.
Castillo is coming off the best season of his career, which earned himself a spot in the All-Star Game for his hard work. He recorded an ERA of 3.40 and 1.14 WHIP in 32 games. It was only his second full season as a starting pitcher in the Reds’ rotation. He was better at home than on the road, with an ERA of 3.13 as opposed to a 3.88 ERA on the road. Castillo picked up from where he left off against the Tigers in his first start of 2020. He held the Tigers to 1 earned run across 6 innings of work. The Cubs have been mediocre against Castillo, with a .252 average in 160 at-bats. Castillo likely won’t get out of this one blemish free, but Darvish doesn’t scare me off from selecting the Reds here.