Phillies Host Reds in Early Spring Showdown: Series Preview

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Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto, left, slides past Atlanta Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud to score a run off a single hit by Bryson Stott during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

After a rough opening series with the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Citizens Bank Park.

Coming off a strong showing with a series win against the Washington Nationals, the Reds enter with a 2-1 record. Cincinnati was 10 games back from the NL Central and missed the postseason entirely in 2023, but they have a real chance to win their division this season.

Phillies-Reds History

The Phillies have quite a lot of history with the Reds, having played them 2,126 times, only winning 970.

Since the turn of the century, the Phils have had better luck, winning 88 of the 154 matchups. Last season, the Phillies went 4-3 against the Reds.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Zack Wheeler pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Pitching Matchups

Game 1

Game One of this three-game series will see Cristopher Sánchez for the Phillies and Andrew Abbott for the Reds.

Sánchez has only faced the Reds once, only giving up three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in six innings. This will be the Phillies’ first time seeing the 24-year-old Abbott pitch. They will be looking to take advantage of a young pitcher.

Game 2

Game Two is an interesting one for the Phils.

Spencer Turnbull makes his first start and is going up against Graham Ashcraft. Turnbull has faced the Reds twice in his career, going 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 14 strikeouts. Ashcraft has faced the Phillies once in his career, allowing no runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six in as many innings.

This will also be the first “Buy One, Get One” Night for the Phillies, rather than the traditional “Dollar Dog Night.”

Game 3

The series finale will see Zack Wheeler on the bump for the Phillies and Frankie Montas for the Reds.

Wheeler has faced the Reds six times in his career, going 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Brandon Marsh, left, reacts past Atlanta Braves catcher Sean Murphy after hitting a two-run home run against pitcher Spencer Strider during the fifth inning of an opening-day baseball game, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

What to Watch

The entire Phillies lineup historically plays the Reds very well. Some (Kyle Schwarber) hit home runs while others (Alec Bohm) keep getting hits.

Nick Martini (4-8, 2HR, 7RBI), Elly De La Cruz (3-11, 3B), Will Benson (5-11, 3RBI), and Jake Fraley (5-8, 2B) all had a great Opening Weekend for the Reds. They’re a very young team and those are often the sneaky ones.

This should be a series win for the Phillies despite the young Reds offense. A sweep is never easy, but a series win is a fair expectation set with this series.

(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)