Who We Got
Cincinnati: 9-11, 3rd place, 4GB
On the Road: 3-5
Vs. Houston: 1-0
Last ten games: 4-6
Runs scored/Against: 93/118
Houston: 8-11, 5th place, 4.5GB
At Home: 5-8
Last ten games: 7-3
Runs Scored/Runs Against: 62/85
Mike Leake: 1-0, 3.92 ERA / 1.55 WHIP, 13K:13BB, 2HRA
Last three games:
(vLAD - Apr 22) 7IP, 8H/5ER, 5K:1BB
(@PIT - Apr 16) 7IP, 7H/3ER, 3K:5BB
(vCHC - Apr 11) 6.2IP, 4H/1ER, 5K:7BB
Felipe Paulino: 0-2, 5.94 ERA / 1.62 WHIP, 11K:10BB, 0HRA
Last three games:
(vFLA - Apr 22) 5.2IP, 6H/2ER, 4K:3BB
(@CHC - Apr 16) 6IP, 6H/5ER, 3K:3BB
(vPHI - Apr 10) 5IP, 4H/4ER, 4K:4BB
Why the Astros Will Win
Because Mike Leake looks like he's the only Reds pitcher to have his crap together. And if the Astros could make Aaron Harang look like Tom Glavine, then this could be a rough night. Leake is the only starting pitcher with an ERA under 5.70.
Because Leake walks batters. A lot. In 20.2IP, he has 13BB - or 5.7 per nine innings. He has been compared to Greg Maddux, because his fastball isn't overpowering, but he can pick his spots - allegedly. This is his 4th professional start, having never spent a day in the minors.
Because Paulino's ERA is almost three runs a game lower at home (5.22) than on the road (8.08). And Leake only has one road start - at Pittsburgh.
Why the Astros Will Lose
Because in 2009, the Reds were 3-1 in the second game of the series after taking the first game.
Because in four starts against Cincinnati in 2009, Paulino was 0-3 with a 5.16 ERA, and 16K:8BB. Jay Bruce is 3x8 with 2HR against FP, Joey Votto is 4x14 with 3XBH. Not that those are big samples, but the Reds as a team have hit .283/.333/.547 off Paulino.
Because Paulino doesn't work while he's ahead. And he throws too many pitches. He has run the count to three balls in 140 of his 608 plate appearances, and has been behind in the count in 222 of 608 PAs. The Reds, this season, have a .426 OBP when the batter is ahead in the count. Could be a long night of more walks.