The New York Mets (50-31) play the Cincinnati Reds (28-52) in the third game of the series at Great American Ball Park this evening. The series is split at one game each with the Mets winning 4-7 on July 4th and the Red winning 1-0 last night. The Mets are looking to continue their heavy winning season as the favorite in tonight’s match up at -168 odds (bet $168 to win $100). The Reds are still working to get any kind of streak or momentum for their season. Cincinnati is a slight underdog tonight at home at +144 odds (bet $100 to win $144), but where does the edge lie in this game? Lets start by looking at some trends between the Mets and Reds.
- The under is 4-1-2 in the last 7 meetings between the Mets and Reds.
- The Mets are 18-8 in the last 26 meetings in Cincinnati.
- The over is 5-0 in David Peterson’s last 5 Wednesday starts.
- The over is 4-0 in the Reds last 4 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- The Reds are 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
The Mets eclipsed the 50 win mark against the Reds on July 4th. They have shown all season long that they are a top contender when October comes around. Currently, the Mets are 2.5 games ahead of the Braves and hold the top spot in the NL East. Only them and the LA Dodgers have passed the 50 game win mark in the National League.
The Reds have yet to get to 30 wins on the year and have struggled most of their season. They are dead last in the National League in their win total and 17.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. It is fair to say unless a miracle happens, the Reds are not going to make the Wildcard.
On paper, this game looks like it should be a blow out. However, this line is showing that the oddsmakers are giving respect to the Reds at home. Even though they are the underdog, the run line is where the value lies in this game with almost even odds at -110 for both sides.
The Mets have a record of 24-18 on the road this season. They also are 24-18 against the spread (ATS) in away games this year. In their last 10 road games, the Mets are 5-5. During these last 10 games, the Mets averaged 4.1 runs on 9 hits per game. Starting on the mound for the Mets tonight is David Peterson. The left-hander is 2-0 on the road this year, but he has pitched in 6 away games. Peterson is averaging 6 hits per game with an ERA of 2.17. He also averages 4.83 innings per game, but most of his better games average 6 innings.
The Reds have a record of 14-26 at home this season. Against the spread, the Reds are 15-25 at home and 35-45 overall ATS. In their last 10 home games, Cincinnati is 2-8 with averaging 2.8 runs per game on 6.5 hits. Their starter tonight is Graham Ashcraft, who holds a 4-2 record overall and 3-1 at home. Graham’s ERA on the season sits at 4.53. This ERA is accompanied with almost 44 innings pitched, 45 hits, and 28 strikeouts. He averages 5.4 innings pitched per game. His last win came against the Giants in San Francisco on June 24th.
Advantages and Key Points:
Tonight, the edge goes to the rookie Ashcraft and the Reds tonight. While Ashcraft has had some bad starts this year, I believe his start tonight with the Mets at home is a great spot to show what he is capable of. He has notched wins this year against the Cardinals and the Giants on the road, two teams that are far more talented than the Reds and should have won, but Graham and his teammates found a way to win. According to Inside Edge, left-handed hitters have a groundball rate of 65% (49/76) against Graham Ashcraft this season — 3rd highest in MLB among starting pitchers with at least 39 total innings pitched.
The Reds are going to need lots of easy outs from Ashcraft in order to keep this game manageable and possibly win. With his high rate of groundballs against a Mets team that has struggled to score in their last game against the Reds, I like Graham to control the first five innings to give the Reds a possible slight lead or tie. Based on that and the betting trends listed from earlier, if the total can stay below the listed number tonight at 10, the Reds can and should cover and maybe win this game. The Reds have not won against a left-handed pitcher in the last four games when the total goes over. I think Ashcraft can keep the Mets lower and give Cincinnati a great shot tonight, especially on the run line.
If you need another reason to bet the Reds run line tonight, fading the public is a big part of this as well with over 90% of the money on the Mets run line and money line. Vegas wasn’t built on MLB favorites always winning and tonight should be a great opportunity for the public to get hammered by the Reds.
Best Bet: Reds +1.5 for 1U (-110)
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