After the Braves came out on the losing end of a thrilling back and forth slugfest from the two hottest teams in baseball on Friday, they will turn to the rookie Jared Shuster to cool down the Reds’ offense.
The Great American Ball Park is an absolute launchpad of a stadium, so I am a bit concerned about Jared Shuster and his 6.20 xFIP in that kind of run environment. He has gotten quite a bit of home run to fly ball rate luck this year and this seems like a prime candidate for some regression if I’ve ever seen one. Now that I’ve said that, maybe we can get the reverse-jinx Shuster to throw six shutout innings. Nothing about Shuster’s profile is particularly encouraging for this matchup though, with a low strikeout rate, high walk rate, and mediocre ground ball rate across both levels this season in a tiny ballpark against a hot Reds team.
On the bright side, the Reds’ starter Graham Ashcraft hasn’t been very good in his career either. He is sitting at a 6.72 ERA, although his FIP and xFIP are closer to his career numbers, around 4.5. Ashcraft is listed at a massive 6’2 248 and has big velocity to show for it, sitting around 96 with his primary cutter. He is essentially a two pitch pitcher with the cutter and slider, however and neither of them are particularly effective. His cutter command has been pretty rough this season, with the heat map sitting hot...pretty much throughout the entire strike zone. He has been walking a lot of batters this season, although much more than his career rate, but his strikeout rate is low and consistent with his career numbers in the majors so far. He does have a decent ground ball rate, but that’s pretty much his big calling card. Hopefully the Braves can hit the ball in the air against him...and hard.
4:10 pm EDT, Saturday, June 24, 2023,
Great American Ball Park - Cincinnati, OH
TV: Bankruptcy Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan
XM Radio: Ch. 175/Online