Look for Jake Arrieta to load up on fastballs when facing Reds again

This was the way the last start Jake Arrieta had against the Reds ended: with him celebrating a no-hitter. Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Can he possibly do it again?

Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta faces the Cincinnati Reds for the first time since pitching a no-hitter against them on April 21.

That game snapped the Reds streak of 7,109 consecutive games without being no-hit, which the Elias Sports Bureau reports was the second-longest streak in major league history (the Cubs went 7,920 games without being no-hit, a streak that ended when they were no-hit by Cole Hamels).

Look for lots of fastballs

Arrieta’s no-hitter was marked by an unusually high fastball usage. He threw it for nearly two-thirds of his pitches, the highest rate he’d had in a start since May 2014 against the Cardinals.

Arrieta has used his fastball much more aggressively this season. He’s had five starts since the no-hitter in which he threw his fastball at least two-thirds of the time. There’s good reason for this; Arrieta’s 23 percent miss rate with his fastball ranks seventh in the majors.

It’s a challenging pitch to hit. Arrieta’s fastball has the sixth-fastest rate of sinking as it crosses home plate and the fifth-fastest rate of movement to his glove side (in to a left-handed hitter, away from a right-handed hitter) for any right-handed starting pitcher.

Opponents are hitting .193 against Arrieta’s fastball, the fourth-lowest batting average among ERA-title qualifiers. Opponents' .233 slugging percentage against it is by far the lowest in baseball (next-lowest is Rick Porcello at .307).

Matchup to Watch: Arrieta vs. Joey Votto

Even in what has been a down offensive season, Joey Votto is doing damage against the Cubs. He’s 8-for-23 (.348 batting average) with a home run against the Cubs this season and is hitting .352 with five home runs in 25 games dating back to the start of last season.

But Arrieta has had Votto’s number; The Reds’ first baseman is 2-for-11 against him. Arrieta’s strategy is to keep the ball down and away and he does so a little more often to Votto than with most hitters. He’s thrown 70 percent of his pitches to Votto in the lower half of the strike zone or below the knees (about 63 percent to others since joining the Cubs) and 68 percent of his pitches to Votto to the outer half of the strike zone, or off the outside corner (61 percent to others).

Votto is the hottest hitter in the Reds lineup. He’s hitting .333 with a .472 on-base percentage the past two weeks.

Look out for Duvall's power

Adam Duvall's 18 home runs against right-handed pitching are the most in the majors this season. Though he's hitting only .246 with a .275 on-base percentage against right-handers, his power still presents a threat. It's particularly notable given Arrieta's penchant for working the bottom of the strike zone. Eleven of Duvall's 18 home runs against right-handed pitching have come against pitches in the lower half of the strike zone or below the knees.