MLB Odds, Predictions and Picks for Mets vs. Reds: 2 Ways to Bet the First 5 Innings (Monday, July 4)

MLB Odds, Predictions and Picks for Mets vs. Reds: 2 Ways to Bet the First 5 Innings (Monday, July 4) article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Hunter Greene #21 of the Cincinnati Reds.

  • The Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets open up a three-game regular-season series as part of the Fourth of July MLB slate on Monday.
  • Enigmatic rookie pitcher Hunter Greene toes the rubber for Cincinnati, opposed by Taijuan Walker for the Mets.
  • MLB betting analyst Charlie DiSturco previews Monday's MLB matchup, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Mets vs. Reds at 6:40 p.m. ET.

Mets vs. Reds Odds

Mets Odds-175
Reds Odds+145
Over/Under10 (-105 / -115)
Time6:40 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

After winning in walk-off fashion yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds open up a three-game series with the New York Mets, who enter fresh off a series win over the Texas Rangers.

It's a Fourth of July night game as New York sends Taijuan Walker to face rookie Hunter Greene.

Can Greene put his previous struggles behind him on Independence Day en route to another Reds win, or will the Mets' bats get to the fireball-throwing righty early?

New York Mets

Especially given the myriad injuries to the Mets pitching staff, Taijuan Walker has provided a steady hand in the month of June.

The right-hander has lowered his ERA to 2.73, improved his walk rate and ranks in the top 13% of qualified pitchers in chase rate. Walker is posting his best season barrel-wise since 2017, but I’m skeptical that his success will continue in July.

Walker’s expected indicators are alarmingly high, signifying that negative regression is inevitable. His xERA (3.82) and xFIP (3.89) are both more than one run higher than his actual ERA. Furthermore, Walker's strikeout rate is down 5% from 2021, and his hard-hit rate is a career-worst 42.7%.

Opponents report a .267 xBA against Walker — yet, they have been unable to cash in. Walker is pitching to contact more frequently, which has proven beneficial across MLB this season. Additionally, he has allowed just 0.37 HR/9 this season.

Walker generates groundballs at a 49% rate, throwing his split-finger more frequently and phasing out his sinker from the arsenal.

Unlike earlier in the season when New York's offense was its strong suit, the bats have gone quiet at the plate. During the last 14 days, the Mets rank 27th in wRC+, 29th in wOBA and 28th in walk rate.

The Mets are around league-average in strikeout rate and isolated power. They are putting the ball in play — just not generating much success: New York has a .252 BABIP during that two-week span.

Cincinnati Reds

I’m not sure there’s a more inconsistent pitcher who is harder to figure out than Hunter Greene has been in his rookie year.

The right-hander has struggled in his 15 starts, posting a 5.72 ERA and 2.43 HR/9. He generates a 25% ground ball rate and is just shy of a double-digit walk rate.

Home runs have been the biggest issue for the fireball-throwing Greene. He seemed to turn a corner at the beginning of June — before giving up five home runs over the span of 10 innings against the Brewers and Dodgers.

But somehow, Greene has underperformed significantly according to expected indicators. His xERA is more than 1.5 runs lower at 4.06, and his xFIP (4.12) is not too far behind. Opponents have only managed a .229 xBA against Greene, as well.

Greene's strikeout rate nears 30%, and he generates a ton of swings-and-misses. His only problem has been the long ball. When opponents make hard contact — especially against his fastball that averages 98.5 mph — the ball has flown out of the park.

It’s also important to note that the Reds bullpen also has the worst ERA in baseball at 5.70, nearly a full run higher than the next-worst Colorado Rockies (4.75). Cincinnati's pen also concedes the second-most home runs and walks.

Offensively, the Reds have been a mess all season long. They are 27th in wRC+, 21st in wOBA and 24th in isolated power.

Brandon Drury has been great for Cincinnati (130 wRC+), but Joey Votto (101) is declining and players like Mike Moustakas (75), Nick Senzel (63) and Jonathan India (58) have really lagged behind.

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Mets-Reds Pick

This is one of the harder matchups to 'cap, because Greene remains one of the season's greatest enigmas.

The rookie continues to significantly underperform due to his home run struggles, but I think Monday night provides a solid bounce-back opportunity against a struggling Mets offense.

Moreover, while Walker is due for negative regression — I think the Reds could muster up some runs against him — I do not expect Cincinnati to send Walker to the showers that early.

As a result, two bets are worthy plays in this Fourth of July matchup: Reds F5 ML and the under 5 over the first half.

The former is a bet on Greene's positive regression — and for Walker, the opposite. The latter bet takes into account the Reds' offensive woes in what I expect to be a low-scoring game — at least to start.

I don't trust the Reds bullpen to keep the lead intact, nor to keep the full-game total under the number. Therefore, I only see value in the first-half bets of Monday's bout.

Picks: F5 Under 5 (to -115) | Reds F5 ML (to +120)

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