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Reds vs. Giants MLB Odds & Picks: How To Back Luis Castillo in San Francisco (Tuesday, April 13)

Reds vs. Giants MLB Odds & Picks: How To Back Luis Castillo in San Francisco (Tuesday, April 13) article feature image

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Castillo.

  • Luis Castillo starts against Kevin Gausman on Tuesday night in a matchup of the Reds' and Giants' aces.
  • Cincinnati's bats have it off to a stellar start this season, while San Francisco is struggling.
  • Kevin Davis breaks down how he's backing Castillo and the Reds in San Francisco.

Reds vs. Giants Odds

Reds Odds+105
Giants Odds-115
Time9:45 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday and via BetMGM

On Tuesday night in a nationally televised game, the San Francisco Giants host the Cincinnati Reds.

Before the season, I projected the Reds to win 80.5 games and the Giants to win 76.7. If the Giants played the Reds schedule and vice versa, both teams would probably win the same number of games this season based on their strength of schedule. That is why I am unsurprised that the oddsmakers view this game as a tossup.

What is surprising is that when accounting for the starting pitching for Tuesday night’s game, Cincinnati is not favored. Starting for the Reds is Luis Castillo, who in my opinion is going to have a strong season this year.

While I am tempted to back the Reds as +105 moneyline underdogs, I am more inclined to bet on their first five innings moneyline at -110 odds.

Cincinnati Reds

The best reason to bet on the Reds on Tuesday night is because of Castillo. Not to be confused with the speedy Florida Marlins second baseman from the 2000s, Castillo has quietly been one of the best pitchers over his last five seasons despite his 33-34 career record. Pitcher win-loss records are interesting but irrelevant to how good a pitcher is. If Castillo was with the Dodgers, Los Angeles would be -200 favorites whenever he pitched.

Last year, Castillo had a 4-6 record with a 3.21 ERA and 11.44 strikeouts per nine innings while allowing just 0.64 home runs per nine innings. Most impressively, Castillo did all of this while averaging almost six innings per start. While typically many pitchers with low ERA’s in a season get lucky, Castillo had a 2.82 xFIP, which indicates his ERA should have been even lower. I am not concerned about Castillo’s poor start this season because he has a strong body of work from past seasons.

In addition to Castillo, the Cincinnati lineup is not particularly strong, but it’s not weak either. The Reds entered Monday night’s game averaging 7.33 runs per game which is the most in the league.

Cincinnati’s ability to produce runs is why they entered Monday night surprisingly in first place in the NL Central. While I believe that Cincinnati will revert to the mean offensively, they should be favored with Castillo pitching. In the future there will be great opportunities to fade the Reds, but Tuesday night is not one of those days.

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San Francisco Giants

Even though the Giants face a strong starter in Castillo, they have a viable answer of their own in Kevin Gausman.

Besides having a great first name, Gausman has quietly been one of the leagues better starting pitchers since joining the Giants last season. In 2020 during the shortened season, Gausman had a 3-3 record with a 3.62 ERA and 3.09 xFIP. If Gausman is pitching at the same form that he was pitching at last year, then the Giants are likely to win.

The issue is that last year was a career year for Gausman and regression seems likely this season. I expect Gausman to have an ERA near 4.00 this season, and that is why I am not worried about the Reds going up against him.

While the pitching for the Giants for Tuesday is going to be strong, their lineup is a liability. Currently San Francisco is averaging only 3.44 runs per game, which is the seventh lowest in the league. Outside of Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski, I am not worried about any of the Giants hitters against Castillo.

Reds-Giants Pick

Based on the strong starting pitching from Castillo, the Reds should win on Tuesday night. Cincinnati’s hot start might be a fluke, but they are still better positioned to win against the Giants.

While I like the Reds full game moneyline, there is more value in betting on their first five innings moneyline. It has opened at -105 on BetMGM, and I would play it up to -120.

Pick: Reds First Five Innings Moneyline -105 (play up to -120)

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