San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds Preview July 1
The Giants have been 2-8 in their last 10 games and are under .500 for the year. Somehow, they’re only 3.0 games out of first place. Starting pitching woes have plagued San Fran, and tonight they’ll have to go with rookie Mike Kickham. He’s making the third start of his MLB career and has struggled so far (0-2, 10.57). The big lefty could have a breakout game at any moment, but it’s worth noting the Reds are 15-12 against LHPs this year. The Giants’ offense, meanwhile, has been relying heavily on Buster Posey (.374, 11 2B in June). With Pablo Sandoval (.194 in June) and other slumping, the Giants need Gregor Blanco and others to step up. They’ll be facing a starter who tends to have either shut-down or blow-up performances.
Bronson Arroyo takes the mound for the Reds folllowing a 4 IP, 7 ER start against the A’s last week, his worst start of the year. However, the veteran stands at 6-6, 3.61 for the season, while being particularly dominating at home. Arroyo is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at Great American Ballpark this year (and the Giants are 15-27 on the road). He’ll be backed up by a mighty hot Jay Bruce (10 HR in June) and the always solid Joey Votto. The Reds have dealt with pitching injuries lately, but the full lineup is healthy for this series. Cincinnati tends to get on base (.326 OBP, 3rd in NL) and that’s probably all that will be necessary to kick the rookie Kickham to the curb tonight.
The matchup distinctly favors the Reds in this one, and not merely because of pitching. The wild card factor of facing a rookie pitcher might trip up Cincinnati, but expect the Reds’ bats to thump in this one.