Reds-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds have been picking up the rear in the NL Central seemingly all season, so they've long been looking toward the future.

Part of that glimpse has involved a rookie right-hander showing a good deal of promise for each club, and they'll square off Friday night when Raisel Iglesias leads Cincinnati into Milwaukee to face Taylor Jungmann.

While the division's top three teams - St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago - are all in position to make the playoffs, the Brewers (53-74) and Reds (52-74) are out of the chase and have held the Central's bottom two spots since May 22. While Cincinnati has lost 12 of 13, Milwaukee has dropped four straight and 20 of 30.

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"Every time you take the field, you've got something to play for, something to compete for, something to prove," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told MLB's official website.

Both teams were sellers at the trade deadline. Milwaukee has struggled offensively after dealing Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra and Aramis Ramirez, ranking among the majors' worst since July 24 with 3.52 runs per game and a .238 average. Cincinnati's starters are 5-16 with a 5.53 ERA since July 31, not long after Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake were traded.

Iglesias (3-5, 3.93 ERA), though, has been a bright spot. No qualifying pitcher has a better opponent batting average in August than his .145 mark, and he has a 1.93 ERA in five starts this month.

The native Cuban's 13 strikeouts Sunday in a 4-0 loss to Arizona were the most by a Reds rookie since Gary Nolan had 15 against San Francisco in 1967.

"My changeup has been working better the last few outings," Iglesias told MLB's official website after allowing one earned run and three hits in seven innings.

Jungmann (7-5, 2.66) said he "had the changeup going" after dominating the Reds on July 5, yielding a run and four hits in eight innings of a 6-1 victory. That's among eight quality starts in 14 outings since being called up June 9, recording easily the lowest ERA of any Milwaukee starter.

He had allowed only two homers all season before serving up one Saturday en route to possibly his worst performance, giving up five runs and seven hits in four innings of a 6-1 defeat to Washington.

"It was one of those games where I felt like I was going to have to battle a little bit," Jungmann said. "... I just really never got into a rhythm."

That game, however, didn't come at Miller Park, where Jungmann has a 1.75 ERA in six starts with 39 strikeouts in 36 innings.

The Brewers are a major league-worst 28-38 at home despite winning eight of 12.

Milwaukee has won four straight over the Reds, though the season series is 5-5. Ryan Braun and Adam Lind each have four homers and 10 RBIs in those 10 games.

Khris Davis has hit .089 in his last 14 against Cincinnati, but he enters with five homers over his past six games and a major league-high 10 since Aug. 6.

Home Run Derby champ Todd Frazier has gone deep twice in his last 30 games and not once in 11 straight. Joey Votto has five homers in his last 15 games while sporting a .567 on-base percentage.