Detroit Tigers +117 at Cincinnati Reds -127 (Total: 8.5)
Drew Smyly vs. Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.39 ERA)
The Reds and Tigers have played a pair of fantastic games so far this series; the Reds winning in the bottom of the 11th on a safety squeeze Monday night, and the Tigers edging out the Reds 3-2 in a pitching duel between Bronson Arroyo and Justin Verlander. Verlander might have left the game with a shutout had it not been for a lazy fly ball that Delmon Young lost in the sun that led to the Reds only two runs. The Tigers got solo homeruns from Prince Fielder and Ramon Santiago, but it was Prince Fielder’s RBI single in the 8th, after Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, that provided the difference.
The homeruns marked the 57th consecutive game at Great American Ballpark with a homerun; a major-league record. So, will the ball continue flying out tonight? And more importantly who has the edge and is the better value wager tonight.
I’ve been slumping a bit with NBA picks (damn you Heat – the hardest team to predict in the NBA in my opinion), but MLB has been spot-on this month. Over the last three weeks our picks are +$58.85 on a $10 wager average. That means we’ve been driving you to the window with cash in your fist – and plan on keeping it up!
The Reds have had a knack from bouncing back from sluggish offensive performances all season. Granted, yesterday facing Justin Verlander (with mid-afternoon shadows nonetheless) is a pretty tall order, but their resiliency as a ballclub has been impressive. They are 10-1 this season following games in which they’ve scored two or less runs. They are also 6-1 in their last seven games following a loss and 5-1 in their last six games against a left handed starter.
The Reds have hit lefty pitching well this season, which is a bit counter-intuitive considering their big bats in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce are both left-handed. As a team they are hitting .251 against southpaws, 16 points higher than their average against righties. To make things a little more daunting for the Tigers, Joey Votto is hitting just under .550 during his 15-game hitting streak…
The Tigers are just 1-6 in their last seven games as a road underdog and are 1-5 in Smyly’s last six starts. He will have his work cut out for him tonight against a solid Cincinnati lineup playing on a nice warm night in the bandbox of GABP. The pitching matchup is pretty even, with Smyly having slightly better numbers on the season and Bailey having been better over their last three starts. Neither is likely to dominate, but I’d give the edge to Bailey, who have been displaying some of the potential that made him the #7 pick in the draft (the same year Verlander went #2, coincidentally)..
I like the Reds to win tonight at home, and they are a pretty good value play at just -127, given all the trends.
Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds -127