MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Reds vs. Diamondbacks: Should You Trust Merrill Kelly?
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Merrill Kelly.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Cincinnati Reds in Monday night MLB action.
- Merrill Kelly takes the mound for the Diamondbacks, while the Reds counter with Mike Minor.
- Check out Kenny Ducey's full betting guide for this Monday night matchup below.
Reds vs. Diamondbacks Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-104 / -118)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Reds have picked up a little steam with three wins in their last five games, but now comes a tough test against one of the more competent arms in the league in Merrill Kelly.
The Diamondbacks offense hasn’t been all that good recently, but could it warrant some consideration here with a poor pitcher going on the other side of this matchup? Let’s dig into this one.
Can Cincinnati’s Pitching Catch Up To Its Hitting?
It’s been a predictably terrible summer so far for the Reds. They’ve lost seven of their last 10 games, falling victim to the so-so Diamondbacks and producing some poor results at the dish.
Despite this, Cincinnati hasn’t been all that bad on offense on the whole over the last two weeks. During that time, it owns the sixth-lowest strikeout rate in baseball and has mustered an above-average 108 wRC+. In addition to this, the Reds have ranked ninth in hard-hit balls over the span and fifth in contact rate.
There’s a story to be told here for just how impressive these at-bats have been from Cincinnati lately, and it’s a real shame the pitching hasn’t caught up to the hitting for this club.
One of those starters who has not been very good lately for the Reds is Mike Minor, who is on track to post an ERA above five runs for a third straight season.
He’s thrown only 8 1/3 innings for the Reds, but in that short period of time, he’s allowed three home runs and five barrels while pitching to a 7.95 xERA. His xwOBA on contact over those frames is a very poor .531.
What tot Expect From Merrill Kelly
It’s once again strange to say, but Kelly has a clear leg up in this pitching matchup.
It’s time to face the fact that this right-hander is a somewhat decent pitcher considering it’s mid-June and his ERA stands at 3.32.
He’s successfully figured out how to pitch to contact in 2022, something many starters have done this season. Kelly has allowed just a 33.5% hard-hit rate with a 3.80 ERA and a .243 xBA on his fastball.
Following in the footsteps of his last two big-league seasons, Kelly has hardly thrown in any bad outings, though he’s still not really a pitcher who will consistently throw in good ones. He’s had just one start this season that could be considered “bad,” when he gave up eight earned runs in just two innings against the Dodgers.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks can’t really lay claim to doing any sort of solid work of late despite picking up a little steam with three wins in their last five games.
They have just a 93 wRC+ in the last two weeks with the 15th-ranked contact rate, though they’ve done a decent enough job of walking and not striking out.
I have faith in the Diamondbacks’ ability to hit Minor, who has a pretty good track record of being a bad pitcher. I don’t know if I can really say the same for the Reds despite how well they’ve hit in the last two weeks.
Kelly has been so effective at pitching to contact that the Reds’ affinity for putting the bat on the ball may be rendered ineffective here. It’s also worth noting that for all of their hard-hit balls, their barrel rate has sat around league average the last two weeks.
With that, I feel inclined to lay the juice with the home team here. I would have some interest in the total if it fell to 8.5 runs as well.
Pick: Diamondbacks ML -155
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