The MLB is packed with action on Friday night as fourteen games hit the board for September 13. One of the matchups up on the board will be between the Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Diamondbacks. These two teams have had their share of struggles throughout this season, but are still looking to finish out strong. This game will start at around 9:40 PM Eastern time.
The Reds have earned a record of 69-79 to this point in the season, which has them in fourth place of the NL Central. Cincinnati has fallen behind and out of the playoff race, but they will still look to finish this season out strong. The Reds have lost six of their last ten games and will look to try and turn this trend around with a win on the road to open this series.
Arizona has earned the second spot in the NL West with a record of 75-72 throughout this season. The Diamondbacks are coming off a sweep in their series against the New York Mets and have dropped five games in a row. Arizona is still only three and a half games back from the final wild card spot, which means they are still very much in the race. The Diamondbacks will need to get a streak going though if they want to make a push for the playoffs.
The Diamondbacks have a lot more on the line in this series as they are still fighting for a playoff position, but Cincinnati will look to play spoiler. Arizona got swept in a four-game series against the Mets and they will need to find their groove in this home series. I expect the Diamondbacks to come out fast to try and bounce back.
The Reds and the Diamondbacks played their first series this season between September 6-8. The first game was a close one early as Cincinnati took a 2-1 lead. Arizona responded with a three run homer in the top of the fifth by Ketel Marte. The Diamondbacks added a two RBI single later in the inning to extend their lead. Eugenio Suarez hit a three run home run for the Reds, but Arizona was able to hold on to win 7-5.
The second game of the series was another exciting one. Neither team was able to score a run through the first three innings, but and RBI by Ketel Marte and Christian Walker gave the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead. Alex Young pitched eight innings, only allowing two hits and no runs as Arizona was able to ride their 2-0 lead to victory.
The final game of the series was led early by the Diamondbacks, but a two run home run by Eugenio Suarez gave the lead back to the Reds. Ketel Marte hit a two run homer of his own to give the lead back to Arizona, but another Suarez home run tied it up. Michael Lorenzen hit a walk off double in the bottom of the ninth to give Cincinnati the 4-3 win at home.
Arizona was able to take the first series 2-1 on the road just a week ago. The Diamondbacks have not won a game since their last win against the Reds and will look to repeat that success through this series in front of their home fans. Marte was red hot against Cincinnati and I believe he could pick up where he left off in the last series.
Eugenio Suarez has put up a really strong season for Cincinnati this season. Suarez has earned 141 hits, 45 home runs and 98 RBI’s. Jose Iglesias has done well this season, putting up 134 hits, 11 homers and 53 RBI’s. Joey Votto has 129 hits, 14 home runs and 44 RBI’s. Nick Senzel, Derek Dietrich and Aristides Aquino all have double-digit homers on the season as well.
Ketel Marte has had a strong season, putting up 181 hits, 32 home runs, 91 RBI’s and an OPS of .985. Eduardo Escobar has earned 156 hits, 34 home runs and 112 RBI’s this season. Christian Walker has 124 hits with 25 homers, while Nick Ahmed has 132 hits, 18 home runs and 79 RBI’s with Arizona. Carson Kelly and Adam Jones both have double-digit home runs on the season as well.
Suarez has had a really strong season so far for the Reds, but as an overall hitting lineup, the Diamondbacks have done better. Arizona’s hitting lineup is much deeper, while Cincinnati has some inconsistency as you go down their lineup. The Diamondbacks used their hitting lineup to their advantage in the first series and they will look to do so again this time around.
Luis Castillo will be the starting pitcher for the Reds on Friday night. Castillo has put up a record of 14-6 through his 29 starts this season. He has earned an ERA of 3.21 and a WHIP of 1.129 in those starts. Castillo’s last start came against the Diamondbacks, where he allowed three hits and two runs through seven and two thirds innings for his sixth loss of the season.
Mike Leake will start on the mound for Arizona in this matchup. Leake has gone 11-10 through 29 starts this season. In those 29 starts, he has a 4.64 ERA and a WHIP of 1.307. Leake’s last start was also against Cincinnati. He pitched six and a third innings as he allowed seven hits and two runs in a no decision performance.
These two pitchers have had solid seasons so far. Leake has gone 2-2 since coming over from Seattle, but he has gone 2-0 in his last three starts. If Leake can continue to pick it up for the Diamondbacks, I believe he could have a nice duel with Castillo on Friday night. Cincinnati’s ace has gotten the job done throughout this season and will look to bounce back from his loss in his last performance against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks have lost five games in a row, but I believe that they will get back in the win column on Friday night. Arizona has a solid hitting lineup compared to Cincinnati and with Leake heating up in his last few starts; I like his chances to put up a strong performance. The Diamondbacks were able to take their road series against the Reds and I think it will carry over to this series.
BetOnline has Cincinnati listed as a -116 against the money line in this matchup. This implies that the Reds will win this game around 53.7 percent of the time. I believe that this money line should be switched in favor of Arizona. The Diamondbacks have been the better team this season and I believe that they will be able to beat the Reds ace.