Friday night baseball and we will see the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Cincinnati Reds in game 1 of their 3 game series from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. First pitch is scheduled for a 7:05 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on the MLB Network.
Tampa Bay -110
Over/ Under: 7 U -120
Analysis: The Tampa Bay Rays begin this inter-conference clash with a 5-5 record overall and a 1-2 mark on the road. The Rays are coming off a 3 game series in Kansas City, in which they went just 1-2, while overall they have lost 3 of their last 4 games and they are just 1-8 in the last 9 meetings with the Reds. Offense has been a problem for this team in the early going as they are 20th in hitting (.237) and 21st in scoring (3.70 rpg) so for this year. The Pitching, though, has been solid and that's just what you would expect from the Rays. Tampa Bay is ranked 6th in the league in ERA (2.97) and 6th in the league in WHIP (1.18). Getting the ball for the Rays tonight is David Price, who is 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 2 starts this year. David has 1 career start vs the Reds and is 0-0 with a 2.35 ERA in that start.
For the Reds, they come in off a 6 game toad trip, with the last 3 being played at St Louis. The Reds went 1-2 in that series and are now 3-6 overall, including 1-2 at home for the year. The Reds have also struggled on offense this year as they have scored just 3.00 rpg (27th) and have hit just .234 (20th) on the year. Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier lead the team in homers with 2, while Ryan Ludwick leads the team in hitting (.320). Pitching has been average at best for this team as they are 15th in ERA (3.62) and 9th in WHIP (1.19). One starter that has not been average is Johnny Cueto, who gets the ball tonight. Despite the team being 0-2 in his starts this year, Johnny has a 1.93 ERA and an 0.83 WHIP. Just nit much run support for him thus far. Johnny has faced the Rays just once and allowed 5 ERs in just 6 innings in that start.
Pick: Going with the Under in this game. The Under is 12-3 in the Reds' last 15 home games and the Under is 22-8 in Cueto's last 30 starts overall, plus we note that the Under is 20-8 in Tampa's last 28 as a dog. Johnny Cueto gets very little run support and that is the case once again as the Reds have scored just 3 total runs in his 2 starts this year, while he has a 1.93 ERA in those games. The Rays just hit .182 and scored 2 rpg in their road series at Kansas City and I see those offensive woes continuing here. The Reds coming having hit just .188 at home this year and they are hitting just .209 vs southpaws overall so far. David Price has not been all that sharp this year, but I expect him to have his best outing of the year so far tonight. Both offenses just don't have enough right now vs solid pitching like they will face tonight. This one smells like a pitchers duel.
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Handicapping Tips: Baseball Correlations
Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com gives some handicapping tips for betting runlines and correlated parlays in major league baseball.