8:40 p.m. ET – Reds at Rockies (-110 ML) O/U: 10.5
The 17-18 Reds remain in Denver, looking to even the four-game series at one game apiece against the 14-24 Rockies on Friday night. Game One went to Colorado after seven shutout innings from starter Chi Chi Gonzalez gave them a 10-0 lead entering the eighth inning. The Reds were pleased to get to the bullpen, as they put eight on the board in the eighth, but ultimately came up short in a 13-8 loss.
About the Reds
Cincinnati has one of the best offenses on paper this season, ranking second in the majors with 5.3 runs per game. The reason the Reds find themselves one game under .500 is that more often than not, the offense is either putting up double-digit runs or being held under two runs. The main reason for the wild inconsistency has been their reliance on home run balls.
The Reds have hit 50 home runs so far this season, ranking third in all of baseball. But on the nights when they aren’t hitting them, they struggle to produce runs in other ways. One of the biggest breakout seasons in the National League so far this season has been authored by left fielder Jesse Winker, who is averaging .371 with seven home runs and 20 RBI to kick off his 2021 campaign. His outfield mate and emotional leader Nick Castellanos also has begun the season on a tear, hitting .315 with nine home runs and 22 RBI this year. On the other side of the hitting coin, Eugenio Suarez has been a massive disappointment this season. After boasting that he hoped to hit 50 or more home runs, Suarez is batting .152 with six homers. Cincinnati will need Suarez to show massive improvement if they want to compete in the National League Central, especially with franchise cornerstone Joey Votto on the 10-Day injured list with a broken thumb.
The Reds pitching staff has not done the team any favors, either, with a 4.88 ERA this season, the fourth-highest in all of baseball. The starting rotation has regressed, but the biggest issue on the entire team has been the bullpen. With a bullpen ERA of 5.50, Cincinnati owns the second-highest ERA for its relief corps among all National League ballclub.
About the Rockies
The Rockies currently reside in last place in the National League West and will likely remain there for the rest of the season. Dealing away Nolan Arenado in the offseason to St. Louis showed a full commitment to rebuilding from the front office. In this experimental season, the offense has been solid, averaging 4.7 runs per game, which ranks eighth in major leagues.
Colorado consistently finds themselves at the top of most offensive categories thanks to playing 81 games at Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball due to the high altitude that assists in having baseballs fly out of the place at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, this season the Rockies rank 21st in home runs and have done most of their damage as a team that hits for average, ranking sixth among all MLB teams in batting average (.246). Left fielder Raimel Tapia has taken a giant leap forward this season, batting .301 with four home runs and 20 RBI.
The anchor of the offense in Arenado’s absence has been shortstop Trevor Story and he has struggled with his power numbers, with only four home runs in 133 at-bats. Regardless, the offense is not what has been holding Colorado back this season. The pitching staff has the second-worst ERA in baseball with a 5.17, including the worst bullpen ERA in the National League (5.74).
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Cincinnati Reds||+1½ (-195)||-110||O 10½ (-115)|
|Colorado Rockies||-1½ (+165)||-110||U 10½ (-105)|
The Pitching Matchup
The Reds are turning to left-hander Wade Miley, their best starter so far this season. Miley toes the rubber for the first time since throwing a no-hitter against the Indians in his last start a week ago and is looking for a solid encore. The last start was not a flash in the pan, however, with Miley owning a 4-2 record and a 2.00 ERA over 36 innings of work overall this season.
Right-hander German Marquez is getting the ball and hoping to extend the winning streak to three for the Rockies. Marquez is 1-4 in eight starts this season with a 5.49 ERA in 39.1 innings of work. Marquez is coming off one of his best starts of the season against the Cardinals, whenhe allowed only one earned run in six innings of work in St. Louis.
A strong reason to be cautious when betting the Reds this season has been their atrocious bullpen, but the Rockies own the only bullpen that is worse in the National League. Cincinnati has the better lineup and the better pitching matchup from top to bottom and should be able to even the series. The best bet is to take the Reds to win by at least two runs because when they win, it tends to be by a lot.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook