6:40 p.m. ET – Diamondbacks at Reds (-180 ML) O/U: 8
The 6-10 Diamondbacks traveled to Cincinnati for a three-game set to take on the 9-6 Reds starting on Tuesday night, and it was anything but a normal affair. The opening game was going smoothly before a heavy storm of rain and snow mixture came down and appeared to have contributed to Cincinnati walking in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. The Reds expressed their displeasure with Major League Baseball over the hesitancy of the umpires to call for a weather delay, arguing that they believed the conditions were impossible to pitch in.
A delay was finally called in the top of the eighth and will be picked up with one out and the bases loaded for Arizona at 5:10 p.m. ET tonight. A win for the Diamondbacks would improve them to 3-1 on the season against the Reds after taking two of three in Arizona two weekends ago, a series in which they outscored Cincinnati 20-9.
About the Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks have come out swinging to open the season and are averaging 4.9 runs per game, good enough for sixth in all of the big leagues. Arizona has been forced to do this all without star outfielder Ketel Marte, who suffered a hamstring injury six games into the season and has yet to be cleared for baseball activity.
Catcher Carson Kelly has had a great start to his 2021 campaign, batting .375 with three home runs and seven RBI in only 32 at bats. But the real star for the Diamondbacks in April has been infielder Eduardo Escobar, who is batting .268 with six home runs and 11 RBI in his last 15 games. Arizona has found success against left-handed pitching this season, batting .263 as team. The bad news for Wednesday night is that they are struggling against righties, posting a .218 average against them. The Diamondbacks pitching staff allows 9.6 hits per game, which ranks dead last in the majors.
About the Reds
The Reds lead all of major league baseball in runs per game this season with 6.3. This is in large part due to ranking third in batting average at .261, but also tied for first with 25 home runs. Right fielder Nick Castellanos has picked up right where he left off last season, batting .295 with five home runs and 10 RBI.
However, he is currently serving a two-game suspension for an altercation he allegedly instigated with the Cardinals in the opening series of the season. One of the surprises in the early going for Cincinnati has been outfielder Tyler Naquin, who has six home runs and 16 RBI in 45 at-bats. While the Reds have been having trouble finding room for him regularly in the outfield when everyone is healthy, Naquin is further proving his value as an extra outfielder in light of the suspension Castellanos is now serving. The Reds lineup is deep from top to bottom and offers opposing pitching staffs no easy outs. Cincinnati’s pitching staff has been middle of the road to start the season, ranking 17th in the MLB in ERA at 4.23. Despite losing 2020 National League CY Young award winner Trevor Bauer, the Reds starting pitching looks good enough to challenge the Cardinals and Brewers for the National League Central. It is the Cincinnati bullpen that needs to step up and be more consistent for that to happen.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||+1½ (-135)||+145||O 7½ (-115)|
|Cincinnati Reds||-1½ (+115)||-175||U 7½ (-105)|
The Pitching Matchup
Arizona is giving the ball to right-hander Merrill Kelly on Wednesday night and he has been far from good this year. In three starts, Kelly owns an 8.44 ERA over 16 innings pitched with only 10 strikeouts. Kelly will need to make some major adjustments against Cincinnati’s high-scoring offense that ranks best in the National League at producing runs. The Reds will be turning to right-hander Tyler Mahle to try and slow down the Diamondbacks. Mahle has been great in his two starts this season, boasting a 2.57 ERA with 22 strikeouts over 14 innings of work. Mahle’s progression could play an essential part in how successful Cincinnati is this season as he tends to have control problems where his pitch count is run up too high in the early going of games.
Look to bet the Reds to be leading at the end of the fifth inning due to Kelly’s struggles and Mahle’s success early in his outings this season.