Guardians (74-83) vs. Reds (80-77) Game Preview | 9/26 6:10 PM EST

September 26, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 2 Against The Cincinnati Reds

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Giolito

Lucas Giolito will be making his final start for the Guardians in 2023 on Tuesday against the Reds. In four starts for Cleveland, he is 1-3 with an ERA of 5.64

2 – Battle for Second

The Guardians are only a half-game up on the third-place Detroit Tigers heading into Tuesday.  They are even in the loss column at 83 losses.

3 – Tied at 5.1

Two Guardians are tied for the best WAR on the team at 5.1 coming into the final week.  Andres Gimenez and Jose Ramirez are at 5.1, and in third at 3.7 is Steven Kwan

Guardians Notes

The Guardians won’t be participating in October baseball this year, and they won’t achieve a winning record either. Nevertheless, they can provide two additional reasons for Cleveland baseball enthusiasts to root for them in this Battle of Ohio. A promising starting point would be their offense bouncing back after two consecutive one-run performances during the weekend. The Guardians have been grappling with scoring issues, a problem that has persisted since 2022, as they currently rank 27th in scoring. Their home run count stands at a mere 118 (30th), and their hard-hit rate is a discouraging 26.7% (30th, the only team below the 30.0% mark), both of which have carried over from the previous season. Furthermore, their walk rate ranks only 25th league-wide, which is not helping their cause. However, they do excel in one area with the best strikeout rate in MLB, which typically provides them with opportunities to get on base. Additionally, they’ve managed to steal 143 bases (6th), contributing to their ability to manufacture runs. Nevertheless, the Guardians are struggling to capitalize on subpar pitches and, more importantly, they’re not consistently driving in runs.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Giolito (8-14) gets the starting nod for the Guardians in his 32nd start of the season. He’s put together a 4.70 ERA in 176 2/3 innings pitched, with 195 strikeouts.
  • The righty last pitched on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, when he threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs while giving up seven hits.
  • Giolito is seeking his fourth straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.7 innings per start.
  • In four of his 31 total appearances this season, he has not surrendered an earned run.
  • The Guardians are 5-15 in Giolito’s 20 starts this season they were the underdog on the moneyline.
  • Giolito’s team is 10-22 over his 31 starts.
  • Giolito has had 32 starts with a set total this season, and the teams combined to go over the total in 15 of those matchups.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 29 games this season and are 21-8 in those matchups.
  • In 28 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 21-7.
  • In 97 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 51-46.
  • Cleveland has a 44-15 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • They have a 21-18 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Reds Notes

As they entered their final regular season home game of 2023 on Sunday, the Reds were on a four-game losing streak. This unfortunate streak culminated in a disappointing loss, as they surrendered a nine-run lead to the already eliminated Pirates team. However, they managed to secure a victory on Sunday, maintaining a 2.5-game lead for the final NL wild-card spot. With just five games left in their regular season, compared to six for the Cubs, six for the Marlins, and seven for the Diamondbacks, Cincinnati knows they’ll need some assistance along the way. The fact that they hold tiebreakers over the Cubs and Diamondbacks could prove crucial as they approach game 162.

Nonetheless, the Reds understand the importance of accumulating more wins in the remaining weekend games. Their upcoming matchups against two eliminated teams should provide them with an opportunity to do just that, starting with the Guardians on Tuesday. It’s worth noting that Hunter Greene will be taking the mound, and the Reds should be pleased that this game is on the road. Greene has a 3.68 ERA in away games, a significant improvement over his performance at home. In fact, Cincinnati has emerged victorious in four of his last five road starts. Over his past four starts, Greene has been in top form, allowing only six runs (four earned) in 24.0 innings of play. During this four-start span, he has struck out 35 opponents, while conceding just 11 hits and seven walks (with four of those walks occurring in a single game). With Greene’s impressive form and the support of a fully rested bullpen that ranks fourth in WAR, the Reds can have confidence in their pitching plan for Tuesday.

When it comes to their offensive prowess, Cincinnati ranks 12th in runs per game, making their batting lineup a generally dependable asset. Furthermore, they’ve been averaging 4.82 runs in away games, which is higher than their home average. Notably, the Reds boast the highest stolen base total in MLB, with a success rate of 80%, and they also possess the league’s 10th-best walk rate, providing ample opportunities to score. However, their 23rd-ranked strikeout rate and 27th-ranked hard-hit rate have been hindrances in pushing more runs across the plate. Interestingly, despite their speed on the basepaths, they haven’t been a significant threat in the home run department during away games, clearing the fence only 76 times in 76 away games. Nevertheless, Cincinnati’s focus on speed and small-ball tactics makes home runs more of a luxury than a necessity for their scoring strategies.

Reds Stats and Insights


  • Greene and his team have a record of 9-11-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The right-hander’s last appearance was on Wednesday, when he threw seven innings against the Minnesota Twins, giving up one earned run while allowing three hits.
  • Greene has pitched five or more innings in four straight games and will look to extend that streak.
  • He has finished five appearances without allowing an earned run in 20 chances this season.
  • Greene’s team has won 28.6% of his starts when they are favored on the moneyline (2-5).
  • Greene’s team is 8-12 when he starts this season.
  • In games Greene has started this season, the teams are 9-10-1 at hitting the over.


  • The Orioles have put up two or more home runs in 57 games this season, and are 43-14 in those outings.
  • Baltimore has had five or more extra-base hits in 40 games this season and has gone 37-3 in those outings.
  • The team has racked up eight or more hits 99 times this season and has a 72-27 record in those games.
  • Baltimore is 75-11 in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Orioles have drawn five or more walks in 37 games this season, and are 28-9 in those contests.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Hunter Greene has been in outstanding form lately, boasting a remarkable 1.50 ERA over his past four starts. It’s worth noting that Greene has consistently performed better on the road this season, holding a 3.68 ERA and contributing to the Reds’ impressive 4-1 record in his last five away games. In his upcoming matchup, he’ll be facing a struggling Cleveland offense ranked 27th in runs per game, which has been limited to just one run in their last two games. Greene is poised to dominate, backed by Cincinnati’s reliable bullpen.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the Reds’ offense, which ranks 12th in runs per game and tends to perform better on the road. They are up against Lucas Giolito, who has struggled with a 6.52 ERA across two teams since the beginning of August. Giolito has allowed four or more runs in three of his four starts as a Guardian and previously conceded four runs to the Reds in August. Cincinnati should have no trouble putting runs on the board in this matchup. Expect them to secure a comfortable victory, especially considering their current need for a win.

Our Pick: Take Reds and the Run Line

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