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Diamondbacks vs. Reds Pick MLB – August 20th

The race in the National League Central remained tight last night as all three teams in the mix notched big wins last night.  For tonight’s pick, we’ll focus on the hottest of those three teams, the Cincinnati Reds who have closed two just 2 ½ games back and are six clear in the wildcard race after their 5-3 win over Arizona last night.

Can they keep it rolling again one of the best pitchers in the NL, Patrick Corbin?  Let’s dig inside the numbers on tonight’s big National League matchup.

Arizona Diamondbacks +139 at Cincinnati Reds -147 (Total: 7.5)

Patrick Corbin (12-3, 2.48 ERA) vs. Tony Cingrani (6-2, 2.78 ERA)

At first glance, getting right around +140 with Patrick Corbin on the mound seems like a pretty awesome value play, however, even if the name isn’t a household name quite yet, facing off against Tony Cingrani is no easy task.  The rookie was called up (twice, actually) to replace injured ace Johnny Cueto in the rotation.  Since then, he has been simply fantastic.  His .191 batting average against would be third-best in the National League if he met the innings pitched threshold (he has 91 IP this season, compared to over 160 for Corbin).  In his 91 innings pitched, he has struck out 114 batters.  That translated to a stunning eleven-plus batter struck out per nine innings.  That’s getting it done in dominant fashion.

Meanwhile, Corbin has struggled a bit in the second half of the season after his first half which put him on the periphery of the All-Star starter discussion.  He hasn’t earned a win since July 23rd, and has a 4.36 ERA in the month of August.  In his last three appearances he has allowed 21 hits and nine earned runs in just 19 innings pitched.

Working in Corbin’s favor tonight is the Reds recent inability to hit left handed pitching.  They began the season well, but have sunk back to pretty low levels.  They are hitting just .238 against southpaws, and are averaging nearly a full run less per game against lefties at just 3.60 runs.

The Diamondbacks splits against lefties aren’t as bad.  They are actually batting nine points higher at .261, but are also averaging less runs, with their total dipping under four at 3.90 per nine innings.

These all add up to a likely low-scoring affair.  I’d lean towards the Reds with Cingrani on the mound, but while the Reds are 10-5 in games he has started, the D’Backs are a staggering 20-4 in games when Corbin is handed the ball.  My official play tonight is the UNDER 8, as we could very well be in store for a nice pitcher’s duel.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL UNDER 7.5