MLB Odds and Picks: Predictions for Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers (Friday, July 31)


Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Castillo.

  • Betting odds for tonight's Reds vs. Tigers game (7:10 p.m. ET) have the Reds listed as -162 favorites, with the Tigers at +145 and the total at 8.5.
  • For the Reds, Luis Castillo will be pitching against the Tigers' Spencer Turnbull.
  • Below you'll find a full betting preview for the matchup, including previews for both teams and pitchers, and picks on the run line and moneyline.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers Betting Odds

Reds Odds -162 [Bet Now]
Tigers Odds +145 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 8.5 (-106/-115) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday at 5:30 ET and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Major League Baseball’s 60-game season reminds me of one of my favorite horse racing events: the Metropolitan Handicap is an eight-furlong sprint that’s run on the same day of the Belmont Stakes.

There’s no time to sit back at the Metropolitan Handicap, and teams need to get out to a quick start in 2020’s shortened season. With rosters expanded, managers are being more aggressive than ever using pinch runners, stealing bases, playing hit-and-run ball, and even Making Bunts Great Again. Teams are playing aggressively because they don’t want to fall behind.

Fourteen of the 30 MLB teams already have seven games under their belt. That’s 11.6% of the 60-game season already in the rearview. It may feel early in the season, but it’s getting late quickly.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds needs to pick things up. Cincinnati entered this season much-ballyhooed after shelling out $165 million in guaranteed contracts and acquiring big names like Mike Moustakas, Nicholas Castellanos and Wade Miley. Sportsbooks took notice and PointsBet set their wins total at 31.5 games which would be a 52.5-win percentage. Just a year ago, the Reds projected win percentage was only 49% so it’s clear that expectations for them are higher this time around.

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The Reds have a +4-run differential thus far for the season, but their record sits at 2-4, a 33.3% win percentage. Using the Bill James Pythagorean Theorem, which projects the number of games a team should have won given its runs scored versus runs allowed, we find that the Reds should have a win percentage closer to 55%. That would put them either at 3-3 or 4-2 on the season. Coincidentally, that would put them right on schedule to reaching their futures win total. The difference between the Reds’ current win percentage and Pythagorean Winning Percentage tells me this team has some upside moving forward.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have surprised many with their start to the season. PointsBet posted the Tigers win total at 21.5 which is only a win percentage of 35.8%. The Tigers are currently 4-3 with a win percentage of 57% despite a -9 run differential. The Tigers Pythagorean Winning Percentage projects they should be closer to 30% or somewhere around 2-5 or 3-4. Given this discrepancy, the Tigers fit the mold of team primed for regression as the season unfolds.

Reds Starting Pitcher

Luis Castillo, RHP

The Reds and Tigers face off for the second time this season. Detroit hosted the Reds to start the season and took two out of the three games but now Cincinnati is looking to return the favor.

Reds pitcher Luis Castillo started the second game of the series and earned a no-decision despite going six innings and giving up one run with 11 strikeouts. The bullpen squandered Castillo’s quality start and surrendered five runs en route to a 6-4 loss.

Most starters are on a pitch count their first start of the season and chances are that was why Castillo was pulled after throwing 95 pitches despite being in control of the game. I would expect Castillo to have a little extra motivation when he takes the mound on Friday.

Tigers Starting Pitcher

Spencer Turnbull, RHP

Castillo will be opposed by Spencer Turnbull who also pitched in the opening series. Turnbull went five innings and surrendered one run despite having four walks in the game. The game was tied 1-1 until the ninth when Detroit plated two runs in the top of the frame to go on to win 3-2. Turnbull did not receive a decision in the game.

Betting Analysis

This play is simply about quality and which pitcher you’d rather have on the bump. For me, I’m taking Castillo six days of the week and twice on Sunday. I queried how Castillo has done in this spot as a road favorite and in 11 games, his team is 7-4 in this spot with a return of 2.31 units. The Reds are also 4-0 in the last four games with Castillo as an away favorite and 6-2 in the last eight games.

If we take a look at this situational spot for Turnbull, the Tigers are 1-8 with him as a home underdog for a loss of 7.15 units and 0-6 in his last six starts.

I can only look to get behind the favorite in this matchup. Keeping the bullpens out of it, my play will be to back the Reds on the First Five Innings and split my bet between a moneyline and run line wager.

The Pick

Reds F5 ML (-150 or higher) .5u

Reds F5 RL (-110 up to -125) .5u

[Bet Reds-Tigers now at PointsBet and win $100 if either team get at least one hit]

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