The Cincinnati Reds wrap up a quick two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday hoping to gain a split. Los Angeles won the opener of the Interleague series 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Currently, the Reds sit in last place in the close NL Central. While they are in last, the Reds are only six games back of the Chicago Cubs. The Reds have added some weapons over the past offseason, but are still far away from consistently competing with the top teams in the division and MLB.
Tanner Roark will be getting the start for the Reds. Roark is 5-6 on the season, carrying a 3.47 ERA along with 81 strikeouts. In his last outing, the 32-year-old veteran righty got the win within their division against the Milwaukee Brewers. In that game, Roark allowed just three hits and one run over six innings of play.
The Reds have had multiple threats on offense leading their team this year. Derek Dietrich, who played for Miami last season, currently leads the team in home runs after a hot start with 18.
Leading the team in batting average is Jose Iglesias with .294. Iglesias recently had a great game against the Brewers where he tied his career high with four hits in five at-bats. He also drove in two runs and scored two himself.
Eugenio Suarez leads the team in RBI with a total of 45 so far. Suarez has been on a cold streak in June with just 12 hits in 76 at-bats. The Reds will be looking for more out of him as they near the midpoint of the season.
The Angles are still bouncing right around .500 on the season as they have been unable to get any consistency from their team. As a prime example, before starting this current series with the Reds, the Angels were 5-5 over their last 10 games. They are 10 games back from the Houston Astros, who are in control of the American League West. Los Angeles has almost the same exact record at home as they do on the road, another reason they have had an up-and-down season with no consistency.
A big reason the Angels have not been able to get momentum is the team’s injuries it has been dealing with all year. Currently, they have four players on the 10-day IL, including two starting pitchers and starting shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Simmons, who was batting .298, is continuing rehab with the Angels’ high-A squad, where he has been for over a month. The team said it is unclear when he will be able to return for sure.
It’s no surprise the Angels are led, once again, in almost every batting category by All-Star Mike Trout. Trout has belted 22 home runs this season with a .307 batting average, and 56 RBI. The Angels will be leaning on Trout to keep them above water while they wait for their injured players to return to make a run for the postseason.
I am taking the Angels at home over the Reds. Both teams have had trouble getting any momentum going, but the Angels have at least a couple of guys in their lineup that get it done night after night, and I think that will make the difference in this game.