A cross-league rivalry fueled by sharing a state has a new identity this year. This will be the first time the new Guardians name will make an appearance in this longtime rivalry.
Reds Record 2-2
Guardians Record 2-2
Tuesday – Tyler Mahle 0.00 ERA vs Shane Bieber 1.93 ERA
Wednesday – Nick Lodolo ( MLB Debut ) vs Tristan McKenzie 6.00 ERA
What to watch
- The pitching matchups
In this short series, the pitchers are extremely fun and very different. You have one of the best pitchers in the game in Shane Bieber going up against one of the more underrated pitchers in Tyler Mahle.
Then in game two, you have two young studs facing off, one of which is the Reds’ number two prospect Nick Lodolo. Much like Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo has the chance to prove he’s not only ready for the MLB but ready to flash dominance.
- Will Tyler Mahle’s home struggles continue?
Tyler Mahle has been phenomenal… when he’s not pitching in Cincinnati. Mahle’s ERA last year at home was a whopping 5.09 while his road ERA was an amazing 2.30. If he can ever figure out his issues at home he could finally be looked at as an Ace.
- Will the Bullpen continue its success?
One of the biggest question marks this team had coming into the year would be the Bullpen. I know it’s early but after facing a tough Braves lineup there is reason for optimism. In that series, the Bullpen pitched 16.2 innings and allowed 10 hits and only four earned runs.
- Who will start at Third base?
We all know how good Mike Moustakas once was, however, those days appear to be behind him. I know it’s early and there is plenty of time to turn things around but so far his play has been much worse than both Colin Moran and Brandon Drury. I imagine Moustakas will keep getting opportunities in some way but I’m not sure how much longer you can keep his poor defense and below-average bat in the lineup.
Both teams are coming into this series .500 and I think they’ll leave the same way. It is going to be tough to beat Shane Bieber but maybe the Reds can get some luck on their opening day. Outside of that, I expect Nick Lodolo to flash excellence and give the Reds an opportunity to win the game and split the series.