Cincinnati Reds (25-22) @ Philadelphia Phillies (28-18)
Monday, 7:05, Bronson Arroyo vs. Cole Hamels
Tuesday, 7:05, Johnny Cueto vs. Vance Worley
Wednesday, 7:05, Travis Wood vs. Roy Halladay
Thursday, 1:05, Homer Bailey vs. Cliff Lee
AVG - .263 (5th)
OBP - .336 (3rd)
SLG - .417 (4th)
R - 237 (2nd)
In 2010 the Reds had the best offense in the NL and they're nearly duplicating that again this season. Their leader...have you heard of this Joey Votto fellow? Last year's MVP is on his way to another one batting .335/1.007 with 34 R and 28 RBI. He has plenty of help too- Brandon Phillips (.317/.835, 29 R, 27 RBI), Jay Bruce (.271/.853, 30 R, 27 RBI, 11 HR), Drew Stubbs (.268/.784, 33 R, 20 RBI, 14 SB), Ramon Hernandez (.333/.961), and even the elderly statesman Scott Rolen (.263/.747). They've also got a great collection of bench players- Chris Heisey, Ryan Hannigan, and Miguel Cairo. Just imagine what the Phillies record would be with an offense like this.
ERA - 4.32 (25th)
WHIP - 1.33 (18th)
BAA - .250 (15th)
Cincinnati's pitching is hamstringing them from running away with the NL Central. Cueto and Bailey have only made 7 starts combined, Edinson Volquez (6.35 ERA) and Wood (5.17 ERA) have been horrible, and bullpen stalwart Aroldis Chapman is currently DL'd.
However, they've still got plenty of weapons. Cueto and Baily have pitched extremely well since being activated, Arroyo is doing his typical thing, and their bullpen is still loaded with guys that will get you out even with the absence of fireballer Chapman. Bill Bray boast a 1.69 ERA/0.88 WHIP, while closer Francisco Cordero comes into the series with a 1.77/0.98 combo. Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arrendondo, and Sam LeCure have all done well too.
Great Offense vs. Great Pitching. Crappy Offense vs. Crappy Pitching. I say split.
*Chase Utley has been activated for today's game and will be batting 3rd. Pete Orr was demoted to AAA. I'm not sad to see him go (.230/.577), but I would have much rather seen the no-hitting ass clown Michael Martinez shipped out instead (.194/.431).
*Joe Blanton has officially hit the DL and Vance Worley is taking his place on the roster and in the rotation.
*Outfielder Scott Podsednik was signed to a minor league contract after asking for his release from the Toronto Blue Jays organization. The 35 year old, 10 season MLB veteran has hit .279/.721 with 544 R, 300 RBI, and 301 SB over his career. He was batting .254/.717 in 17 games in the minors this year. If healthy, he could actually be an improvement over the current dreck we have in the outfield.