Coming off an exciting series win in Philadelphia, the San Diego Padres look to stay hot as they battle the Cincinnati Reds. Here’s our series opener preview.
Can the San Diego Padres make it three in a row? That’s what they’ll be going for as they travel to the Great American Ball Park to face the Cincinnati Reds.
After a nail-biting Game 3 against the Philiadelphia Phillies, the Friars will finish their road trip in Cincinnati in what appears to be an even match up. The Reds are also 58-65, firmly in fourth place of the National League Central and 7.5 games back from playoff contention. The winner of this series will be in front of the other in the wild card race.
That might be more important to the Reds though. While 7.5 games out from a wild card spot, they’re also 7.5 games back from the division lead; they might actually have a better shot at a NLC title considering how crowded the NL is this year.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers run away with the NL West, the Padres’ only chance at the playoffs is a wild card berth, which is nearly all but lost at this point in the season.
Nevertheless, the Friars have continued to play hard despite the injury to budding star Fernando Tatis Jr. The young guns have stepped up in his place and hope to help the team at least finish the season swinging.
Since his departure, perhaps no one has stepped up at the plate more than Luis Urías, who’s enjoying a fine hot streak (and a much needed one) of .333/.442/.500 in the last 15 days.
Meanwhile, the Reds’ offense is spearheaded by a dynamic duo of 3B Eugenio Suárez and SS José Iglesias. While Iglesias has the better average (.295), Suárez leads the teams in hits, RBIs, home runs, OBP, and slugging. Aside from the home run category, Iglesias is right on his tail in offensive production, and the Padres pitchers will need to be on their A-game to stem the workhorses.
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Speaking of pitchers, the series opener will feature some Lauer-Bauer power on the mound as the Padres’ second-year Eric Lauer (6-8) will face off against Reds new-comer Trevor Bauer (10-9).
Bauer, who has a 4.12 ERA and 1.245 WHIP with 204 strikeouts on the year, will be making his fourth start on his new team since the big three-way trade with the Cleveland Indians and Padres.
He’s coming off an abysmal start against the Washington Nationals, allowing nine earned runs off eight hits including a couple of home runs. He completely folded in the fifth and was pulled after surrendering a 10-run inning.
The former Indian had been mentioned in trade rumors surrounding the Friars up until the deadline, but of course none of those amounted to anything. Instead, he’ll have a chance to face off against the Friars in a potential “what if?” situation.
In the other dugout, Lauer will look for the win after allowing three runs over 5.0 IP against the Tampa Bay Rays. Though he preserved the Padres’ lead going into the sixth inning, the bullpen blew the game wide open by surrendering four runs after his departure.
Overall, Lauer has been hit-or-miss and very average this season. Fighting with Joey Lucchesi for a potential spot on the 2020 starting rotation, he hasn’t done much to convince the front office or the fans that he’s the one for the job.
A solid start on Monday might restart the conversation, but he’ll need to be better and much more consistent through the end of the season to really change some minds.
Here’s how you can watch series opener between the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds live, on TV and online:
Date: Monday, August 19
First Pitch: 4:10 PM PT/7:10 PM ET
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Stadium: Great American Ball Park
Pitchers: Eric Lauer (6-8) vs. Trevor Bauer (10-9)
Radio Station: KWFN 97.3 (Padres), WLW 700 (Reds)
TV Channel: Fox Sports San Diego (Padres), Fox Sports Ohio (Reds)
Live Stream: MLB.tv
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres 2019 season, be sure to visit Friars on Base all season long.