MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Phillies vs. Reds Preview (Wednesday, June 2)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Howard.
- The Reds and Phillies wrap up their three-game series Wednesday afternoon following Philadelphia's 17-3 bludgeoning of Cincinnati on Tuesday.
- The Phillies send top prospect Spencer Howard to the hill to face an above-average Reds lineup that is missing Joey Votto.
- Despite the absence of Votto, D.J. James explains, below, why he's backing the Reds to avenge their blowout loss.
Editor's Note: Wednesday's game between the Phillies and Reds has been postponed because of rain. It will be made up on June 28.
Phillies vs. Reds Odds
|12:35 p.m. ET
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet.
After witnessing their pitching staff get obliterated on Tuesday night, the Cincinnati Reds look to straighten out on Wednesday against Philadelphia Phillies starter and No. 1 prospect, Spencer Howard.
Young Vladimir Gutiérrez takes the hill for the Reds in hopes of performing a bit better than the rest of the staff did on Tuesday, when they allowed 17 runs to the Phillies offense. Will the Reds bounce back in this one?
Phillies Send a Young Starter to the Mound
The Phillies are an abhorrent hitting team against right-handers this season. Going up against a new face in Gutiérrez could give them some issues. Luckily for them, J.T. Realmuto returned to the order, but Didi Gregorius and Bryce Harper still reside on the injured list.
Realmuto, Brad Miller, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura are all above-average hitters off of righties this season, but there is a massive drop-off after them in the order. This will be the crux in their lineup against Gutiérrez. Sure, this team put up 17 runs on Tuesday, but that looks to be an outlier, given their season, and having an underperforming prospect take the bump facing an above-average offense does not help for the Phillies.
Their bullpen has had their fair share of issues, as well. They rank 25th in baseball in team reliever ERA with a 4.78 and also only strikeout 23.2% of hitters (24th in MLB). In order to put away teams late in games, this is critical, and the Phillies just do not have it. There is a strong chance that this one could come down to a battle of the bullpens if both young starters get knocked around, so this could be a problem for Philadelphia.
Strength Reds Bullpen is Available Today
The Reds typically have a pretty strong batting order against righties, but Joey Votto is sidelined, so this is a missing piece, especially when it comes to forcing walks against a young pitcher. Mike Moustakas is also out, so this does not help at all.
Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Naquin have to carry the burden, but they should be able to do so. Howard has walked a batter per inning in his May appearances, so this should come into play.
The Cincinnati bullpen has struggled even more than the Philadelphia bullpen has. They are second-to-last in MLB in ERA at 5.26. Even if they have been a tad unlucky with a 4.49 xFIP, this still does not stand out as a positive. Sean Doolittle, Brad Brach and Tejay Antone are the only reliable options.
The silver lining of their 14-run deficit in Tuesday’s loss to the Phillies is none of these pitchers had appearances, so they should be fresh going into Wednesday afternoon’s matchup. Given this variable, the Reds should be in decent enough shape to negate the weakest part of their organization: the bullpen. All they need is for Vladimir Gutiérrez to go four or five strong innings, and the rest of the bullpen rotation should be set in stone.
Neither of these teams are in great shape for a playoff run at the moment. Injuries plague plenty of stars on both of these rosters, but Cincinnati has a slight edge with the rested bulk of their bullpen and a few key hitters to face Spencer Howard.
Even with Howard being a top prospect, it does not look like he has quite put it together yet, so that will have to wait until another appearance. It does not look like it will happen against the Reds who look to avenge an embarrassing Tuesday loss. Take the Reds in this one -125 because they should have enough going for them to defeat the young starter.
Pick: Reds -104 (play to -125)