The Cincinnati Reds (61-51, 30-24 away) and the Cleveland Indians (54-55, 28-24 home) meet up Monday to battle each other in a game originally scheduled for May 9th that was postponed due to weather. This will be the final time these two teams from Ohio meet each other during the regular season.
The first pitch of the contest is penciled for 6:10 p.m. EST at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. According to oddsmakers, Cincinnati is the favorite (-160), and the run total is over/under 9.5.
What to Know – Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds enter the new week riding a four-game winning streak and in the thick of the playoff race. Cincinnati’s 8-2 over their last ten games and now 2.5 games outside of the second wild-card spot. The Reds sit in second in the National League Central, five games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
The expected starter for the Reds is right-hander Luis Castillo (6-10, 4.09 ERA, 1.39 WHIP). After a disastrous start to the season for Castillo, the 28-year old has been nearly unhittable over the two months. Castillo was brilliant in his last outing, holding the Minnesota Twins to one run on six hits over six innings.
Cincinnati’s offense ranks third in the majors in on-base percentage (.335) and fifth in slugging percentage (.430). Nick Castellanos ranks third in the MLB, batting .323, and the outfielder hit 19 home runs and driven in 61 runs. Outfielder Jesse Winkler and first baseman Joey Votto lead the Reds with 23 home runs apiece.
What to Know – Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians begin the second full week of August, needing to pick up some wins. The Indians are 3-5 over their last eight games and now 8.5 games out of the second wild-card spot in the American League. Cleveland is second in the AL Central standings, 10.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox.
On the mound for the Indians is expected to be Sam Hentges (1-4, 7.86 ERA, 2.01 WHIP). The left-hander’s appeared in 17 games this season, logging eight starts. Hentges’s last start came at the beginning of July when the 25-year old tossed 4.1 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays in a losing effort.
The Indians’ offense has struggled at times this season, and the statistics show it. Cleveland is 28th in on-base (.298) and 18th in slugging (.401). Cleveland was sellers at the trade deadline, sending one of their most productive hitters, Cesar Hernandez, to the White Sox. Third baseman Jose Ramirez remains, pacing the club in home runs (24) and RBIs (65).
The Pick is In
On paper, this appears to be a lopsided matchup between the two in-state foes. Castillo and the Reds have got things rolls as of late while the Indians are struggling to maintain their ground in the AL playoff race.
Don’t expect Hentges to last long on the mound as Cleveland leans on the bullpen in this one. Riding with Cincinnati is a chalky play, but it is the safe one here.
The Pick: Cincinnati Reds ML