They share a facility in Goodyear, Arizona for six weeks and since 1997 they have played a series during the regular season with the exception of 2002.
Tonight will be the 100th regular season meeting between the cross-state rivals with the Indians holding a 45-54 lead.
The Reds have won or tied 11 of the 19 series but have dropped the last two series in 1-5 in 2015 and 0-4 last season. The four losses by the Reds were the first in an 11-game losing streak.
Since 2008 a Most Outstanding Player is chosen by writers from both teams. Past winners are; 2008 Adam Dunn Reds, 2009 Ramon Hernandez Reds, 2010 Shin-Soo Choo Indians, 2011 Asdrubal Cabrera Indians, 2012-2013 no award was given, 2014 Kristopher Negron Reds, 2015 Jason Kipnis Indians, 2016 Rajai Davis Indians.
Cleveland is the defending American League champions, losing in seven games to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. They own a 23-19 record and are tied for first place with the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division.
The Reds are 20-23 in fourth place in the National League Central 4 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Indians feature former Reds’ thirdbaseman, Edwin Encarnacion. who will play first base with after signing with Cleveland as a free agent this winter.
Encarnacion and Carlos Santana alternate between firstbase and designated hitter. Since ther National League rules apply for the two games in Cincinnati. Santana will play rightfield with Lonnie Chisenhall moving to centerfield.
“The Reds are swinging the bats well. They have balanced lineup,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I can’t imagine a 2-1 game in this ballpark. We’re going to have to score to win.”
Reds manager Bryan Price acknowledged the games are fun for the fans.
“It is more fun for them than it is for me,” Price said. ““They have a lot of things going for them. They already had a good lineup and they made themselves a lot better by adding Encarnacioin. Their pitching, their starters in particular, is something that’s allowed them to turn things around, and their bullpen is shutdown. That makes a difference.”
Scott Feldman will start for the Reds. He has pitched mostly in the American League during his career. He comes into the game with a 2-4 record and a 4.29 ERA. Feldman has a 2=3 record with a 2.72 ERA in 15 games, six starts against Cleveland.
Josh Tomlin starts for Cleveland. He comes in with a 2-5 record and a 6.86 ERA. Tomlin has faced the Reds five times with a 2-2 record and a 4.55 ERA.