Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.71) and the Phillies have their work cut out for them when they play the first of three against Johnny Cueto (7-2, 3.97) and the high-powered Reds. First pitch is 7:10. (Getty)
Beerleaguer: It's weird, but I'm more concerned about the Phillies' trip to Pittsburgh, where they always play down to the Pirates' level, than three games in Great American Ballpark, where they've won 12 of 17. Don't get me wrong, the Reds are a good team; they lead the league in runs (369), slugging percentage (.440) and fielding percentage (.990), but the Central is just so underwhelming, and in regards to their lineup, guys like Johnny Gomes and Scott Rolen are playing over their heads. Still, Rolen is nobody to trifle with; he's a lifetime .347/.406/.507 hitter against his old team. The Reds don't give away outs defensively, either, like we saw with the Blue Jays. They're very sound, the Phillies will need to earn it.
Going on pure gut instinct, look for the Phillies' bats to stay hot this series and take 2-of-3, then scuffle against the Bucs leading up to a huge home series with the Braves. Lineups are in: Wilson Valdez and Brian Schneider will be at third and behind the plate.
Meanwhile, Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals visit Tim Hudson and the Braves starting at 7:05 on ESPN2. Interleague is over. Meat and potato time.