Reds at Phillies Picks, Odds and MLB Series Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 5/17/2013
Two teams stalking their respective division leaders will lock horns in the City of Brotherly Love this weekend as Cincinnati takes a six-game winning streak to Philadelphia for a set against the Phillies.
The Reds, currently with the second-best record in the National League, have pulled back-to-back sweeps to get within 1.5 games of St. Louis. Cincinnati is riding the strength of one of the best pitching staffs in baseball – No. 3 in ERA and No. 1 in WHIP – and is choking out opponents while winning a host of low-scoring games.
Philadelphia is 10-8 in its last 18, and they are lingering in the No. 3 slot in the East. They are just 3.5 games back of division-leader Atlanta and 3.0 games behind Washington. The Phillies have lost only one of their last six series – but they also have split three of their last six series, so they aren’t necessarily making up ground as much as they are simply not losing ground.
These clubs met once back in April, with the Reds earning a home sweep from April 15-April 17 against a struggling Phillies roster.
Here is a deeper look at this week’s best baseball series, including a free MLB series prediction at the bottom:
Reds at Phillies Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Reds LHP Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. Phillies LHP Cliff Lee (2-1, 2.86 ERA)
It is old vs. young in this matchup of southpaws. Lee is a Cy Young winner and has been steady in his three outings, winning at San Fran and Arizona. Lee is 6-2 with a 3.79 ERA in his career against the Reds, but the Reds have been very good against lefties this year. They are currently in the Top 10 hitting southpaws. Cingrani gets to face a Phillies lineup that is just No. 23 against lefties, and the second-year starter should continue to hum along. He has better than a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has only given up more than two runs one time in his five outings this year.
Saturday: Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.76 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (4-1, 2.47 ERA)
Crafty is really the only way to describe the veteran Arroyo. He is just 1-5 in his last six road starts but is also 23-11 in his last starts on the road against a team below .500. That said, he hasn’t been very good against the Phillies in his career, going just 3-7 with a 6.00 ERA against the Phils. Arroyo is 1-2 with a woeful 9.60 ERA in three career starts at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Kendrick may have turned a corner in his career. He has always been quietly efficient for the Phillies and has an ERA of just 3.42 over his last 80 appearances since the start of 2011. Kendrick has won five straight and six of seven starts this year, allowing two or fewer runs in each of those starts. Kendrick is hot, and he dominated the Reds back on April 16, allowing just two hits and no runs in seven innings.
Sunday: Reds RHP Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.51 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.41 ERA)
Two wild cards will take the hill on Sunday for what should be the highest-scoring game of the series. Bailey is coming off a complete-game win at Miami in which he threw 125 pitches and tallied 10 strikeouts. That is compared to his previous two outings, totaling 10 innings and eight runs. Bailey is just 1-3 on the road with a 4.78 ERA. But, like Kendrick, he dominated his opponent in the first meeting this year, throwing eight shutout innings back on April 16.
Rookie Pettibone has helped fill the massive gap that Roy Halladay left. Pettibone has unspectacular stuff, but he’s been efficient and consistent. He keeps hitters off balance with his changeup but has been very hittable, allowing an average of a hit per inning in five short outings. But Pettibone just wins. He is 4-1 in his five offerings, including an impressive effort this week against the hot hitting Indians.
Reds at Phillies MLB Betting Odds and Trends
Cincinnati is a small underdog against Lee in the first game at +105 and against Kendrick in the second game at +115. The home team is set as a -120 favorite in Game 1 and Game 2.
However, the Reds are actually favored in the series price. Cincinnati is -115 for this weekend while Philadelphia is just -105.
Phillies have dominated this series, going 38-18 in their last 56 games against the Reds. That includes an excellent 19-7 mark the last 26 meetings in Philadelphia. But recently, Philadelphia has gone just 3-10 against teams from the N.L. Central. Also, keep an eye on the total in this game. The “over/under” 15-7-1 in Philadelphia’s last 23 home games.
The Reds have won six straight games, all on the road, and they are an outstanding 51-24 in Cincinnati’s last 75 games against a team with a losing record. They face a lefty on Friday and are 22-9 on the road against southpaws. After that, the Reds are 11-1 in their last 12 games against a right-handed starter. The over is 8-4 in their last 12 games for the Reds.
Reds at Phillies Picks and Series Betting Predictions
I keep waiting for the Phillies to have a statement series. Could this one be it? I actually think so – as long as Lee can come through and get a win in the opening game. Philadelphia really struggles against lefties, which will negate the advantage they have with Lee over Cingrani. I can see the two teams splitting the Saturday and Sunday games, even though the Phils have the advantage in both matchups. Arroyo has been terrible against the Phillies in his career, and Kendrick is hot. And I think that Bailey is ripe for a beating after going the distance in his last outing; Bailey has given up 27 runs in 38 innings the last eight games following an effort of eight innings or more, and he’s just 2-6 in those starts. The Phillies have revenge for that sweep last month. And the fact is that the Reds have lost their last three series against teams above .500, going just 3-7 against the Reds, Cardinals and Nationals. Cincinnati is simply beating up on bad teams. I think Philadelphia finally gets over the hump and wins a big series.
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