Thursday March 31st
Brewers- Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Reds- Edinson Volquez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Gallardo looked very strong this spring. In just 18.1 innings, he struck out 23, while only issuing five walks. While I rarely looked to deeply into spring training, those are encouraging numbers from Yo.
I officially have no idea what to expect out of Volquez. Could he return to his 2008 (pre-injury) form, or will he be relegated to his injury plagued seasons of 2009 and 2010? Based on his velocity and location, I'd say the latter. If he keep the current pace he was on each of the past two seasons, it could be a huge red flag for the Reds.
Saturday April 2nd
Brewers- Shaun Marcum (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Reds- Travis Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Since the Brewers acquired Marcum this past offseason, fans were looking forward to the third game in Cincinnati. While an injury to Zach Greinke may have bumped Marcum's debut up a start, it did little to temper my excitement. It's funny how the Brewers can go from having a horrendous pitching staff last season to having the luxury of Shaun Marcum as your third best starter. I look for a big season out of Shaun.
The Reds have to be utterly thrilled over the progression of Travis Wood. After a very average 2009 season in the minors, Wood excelled in 2010. It first started at AAA Louisville and only continued after joining the Reds mid-season. I do expect his numbers this season to regress, but that doesn't mean he won't be a clog in the Reds rotation for years to come. Regardless, I'll take my chances with Marcum over him any day of the week.
Brewers- Randy Wolf (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Reds- Bronson Arroyo (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wolf's 2010 was about as jekyll and hyde as they come. After statistically ranking as one of the worst pitchers in the first half of the season, many, including myself, immediately regretted the large contract he received after 2009. However, Wolf was able to rebound and salvage 2010 with an impressive second half. He began pitching deeper into games, something the Brewers signed him for. If Wolf pitching like he did in the second half this season, it could go a long way in a Brewers run at the division.
Arroyo is another interesting case for the Reds. He saw his K/9 drop last season to nearly five. Sure Bronson doesn't issue many free passes, but that's getting pretty close to danger-zone. While Arroyo may be regressing a little, he is still proven himself every year as a solid pitcher. He's combined for a WAR near 14 over the past five seasons. While the majority of that may be front loaded, he still seems like he has plenty left in his take.
Series Prediction: Brewers take two out of three.