Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres series preview

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are not playing like World Series contenders right now. They're not even playing like playoff contenders right now. The Friars are coming home to a 100% capacity crowd after completing a horrible 1-5 road trip to cap off a stretch of 17 games where they went 4-13.

So perhaps the Cincinnati Reds will capitalize on catching the Padres at the right time or San Diego will get their stuff together and start beating teams that they should beat.

The Reds don't figure to be a playoff team this season with probably one team coming out of the National League Central division but they're 2.5 games back of first heading into Thursday. Jesse Winker and Nicholas Castellanos are big reasons why they're still contending for the division. Winker is third in the NL in home runs (17) and second in batting average (.344) right behind Castellanos (.351). The former Cub and Tiger has already homered 13 times with 37 runs driven in. Padres pitching will certainly be studying those two Reds hitters before the series opener to try and see how they can minimize their impact this weekend.

Thursday, June 17 (5:40 pm PT): Wade Miley (CIN) vs. Joe Musgrove (SD)

TV: Bally Sports San Diego, Radio 97.3 The Fan

Wade Miley has thrown a no-hitter already this season and currently owns a 2.92 ERA going into Thursday night. Miley's last start came against the Rockies where he allowed three runs in seven innings of work. Miley is one of those old-school guys that can give his team plenty of innings so if the Padres want to get to Cincinnati's bullpen, then they will need to get Miley's pitch count up early.

San Diego possibly has an All-Star starter on the mound to open Petco Park back up to full capacity. Joe Musgrove, like Miley, has a no-hitter this season and has bounced back after a few rough starts after a red hot start to the season. At Petco Park in his career, the El Cajon native owns a 2.61 ERA in eight starts.

Friday, June 18 (7:10 pm PT): Tony Santillan (CIN) vs. Chris Paddack (SD)

TV: Bally Sports San Diego, Radio 97.3 The Fan

Tony Santillan is not a name that I'm familiar with but he fared well when he had to replace Sonny Gray last Sunday against the Rockies. Santillan went 4.2 innings and allowed just one run. He did walk four so perhaps the Padres could capitalize on his lack of command if that continues on Friday night.

Chris Paddack once had a lack of command but he seems like he is back to being a solid starter in a Padres uniform. In his last seven starts, Paddack owns a 3.31 ERA and has been able to go six innings essentially ever since he was built back up to starter-type innings when he came off of the IL.

Saturday, June 19 (4:15 pm PT): Vladimir Gutierrez (CIN) vs. Dinelson Lamet (SD)

TV: FOX, Radio 97.3 The Fan

This game is going to be broadcasted on national television as right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez takes the mound for Cincinnati. He doesn't have a whole lot of experience in the big leagues and he hasn't yet faced the Padres at Petco Park or in Ohio. Gutierrez owns a 2.74 ERA with a 3-1 record in 2021.

Lamet is certainly progressing in the right direction to getting back to being the guy he was last season when he was a Cy Young award finalist. The right-hander has been able to let it loose in his last couple of starts and he has 30 strikeouts with a 3.33 ERA entering Saturday's afternoon game.

Sunday, June 20 (1:10 pm PT): Luis Castillo (CIN) vs. Yu Darvish (SD)

TV: Bally Sports San Diego, Radio 97.3 The Fan

This figures to be the best pitching matchup on paper going into the weekend, as both teams' aces take the mound. Castillo hasn't quite pitched like an ace this season, as he owns a 5.83 ERA and is 2-9. But, Castillo was an All-Star in 2019 so he has the ability to put together a good start.

Darvish should come out firing on Sunday because he didn't look like he was too pleased with the way he pitched in Colorado this week. Darvish allowed four earned runs on Tuesday in five innings with one home run allowed. Darvish doesn't give up four runs too often and I don't expect him to do it on back-to-back starts.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball staff or SB Nation.