Giants vs. Reds MLB Betting Odds & Pick: Back Sonny Gray on Monday? (May 17)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Sonny Gray.
- Cincinnati welcomes San Francisco, owners of the National League's best record, to Great American Ball Park to open a four-game series.
- Despite having a .500 record, the Reds are a -150 favorite thanks largely to their starting-pitcher advantage with Sonny Gray.
- Matthew Trebby explains below why he's only confident in backing the Reds when Gray is still in the game.
Giants vs. Reds Odds
|Time||Monday, 6:40 p.m. ET|
The San Francisco Giants have the best record in the National League, while the Reds’ offense is the NL’s best.
That’s where we find these teams entering Monday’s series opener at Great American Ball Park. Logan Webb will start for the Giants, whose rotation has been the best in the majors this season. He’ll pitch opposite Sonny Gray, who will provide a stern test for San Francisco.
Let’s dig into both teams to find where the betting value lies.
Webb Looks to Keep Giants’ Rotation Rolling
Pacing the NL in the middle of May, just as everyone expected, are the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco ranks 14th in OPS, and its 53 home runs are tied for fifth most in the majors. It has been the Giants’ pitching staff leading the way. Their 3.29 ERA ranks fourth in the majors, and their starting rotation has an MLB-best 2.79 ERA.
Monday’s starter, Webb, began his MLB career struggling to miss bats. Through 21 appearances (19 starts) from 2019-20, Webb allowed 10.1 hits per nine innings while striking out just 7.9. He has been better on both accounts, with those numbers at 9.2 hits and 10.2 strikeouts.
Webb’s FIP is 3.73 compared to a 4.74 ERA, a trend that is continuing from his first two MLB seasons. For his career, Webb’s FIP is 4.03 compared to a 5.18 ERA. While he has allowed 9.8 hits per nine innings in his career, he has limited damage by giving up just 0.9 home runs per nine throughout his big-league career.
This is the last shot for a lot of the Giants’ lineup, and the likes of Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey are thriving and leading the way. Posey has a 1.151 OPS, while Crawford and Belt each have 21 RBIs.
Gray Has Room for Improvement
Gray has a 3.55 ERA and 3.36 FIP through five starts this season, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Gray is allowing 8.9 hits per nine innings, which would be the third-highest number of his nine-year career. His walk rate has also increased since the start of last season. In his first seven seasons, Gray walked just 3.2 batters per nine innings. That’s up to 4.2 for him since the start of last season.
The right-hander’s strikeouts per nine innings are up to 12.8 this season, as well, which indicates he is missing bats. That number would be a career high, but he has been in double-digits in both of his years with Cincinnati.
If he keeps missing bats, the hits are likely to go down. If Gray keeps the walks down, he’s looking at a potential Cy Young campaign.
Offensively, the Reds are without Joey Votto, and Mike Moustakas missed the last two games of their weekend series against the Rockies due to a hand issue. There hasn’t been any real word on the severity of that.
Cincinnati is getting plus seasons from the top of its lineup in the form of Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos. Tyler Naquin has also been a pleasant surprise in the outfield.
Eugenio Suarez is the only Reds regular who is really struggling. Otherwise, everyone has an OPS over .730, which is above the league average this season. Cincinnati’s .760 OPS is third in the majors and leads the National League.
It has been the Reds’ pitching holding them back and has them at .500. They’ve scored the second-most runs in the NL while allowing the third most.
The Giants, despite being the best team in the NL, are underdogs against a .500 team. That’s mostly due to the pitching matchup and the fact that Cincinnati’s lineup has thrived this season. If the Reds can get Votto healthy and Suarez’s bat going, there’s definitely an opportunity to make a run in the NL Central.
For this game, the Reds have a .779 OPS against right-handed arms this season and an edge in the starting-pitching matchup. While Cincinnati’s bullpen is much less reliable than its starter, I trust the Reds to get to Webb more than I do the Giants to Gray.
The Reds -0.5 in the first five innings is -105 on PointsBet. Like I said, I don’t trust the Cincinnati relief corps, so all bets are off after that.
I see big things coming the rest of the year if Gray can right the ship in a few statistical categories, and what better way to start than against the best in the Senior Circuit.
Pick: Reds -0.5 First 5 Innings -105