Reds vs Giants Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, August 29
Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt McLain.
Reds vs. Giants Odds
The Reds have now lost four of five after dropping the series-opener to the Giants on Monday night, and they'll send Brandon Williamson to the hill on Tuesday to avoid dropping a second straight series.
Can Cincinnati keep its playoff push going against Alex Cobb and company?
Let's break it all down in our Reds vs. Giants preview and prediction.
Williamson is coming off the best start of his rookie season, and it's been a long time coming. The lefty's ground-ball rate has steadily risen with every month, reaching a season-high 43.4% in August. With that, his expected batting average has cratered, coming in at under .250 for a second straight month.
While the above numbers aren't incredible by any stretch of the imagination, it's hard to say Williamson has pitched as poorly as his season-long numbers would indicate. His expected ERA stands at 4.93, but with the way he's improved over the last two months it's certainly no given that he'll regress.
In fact, I'd expect that xERA to keep dropping with each start as long as he maintains this form.
As for this Reds offense, it continues to sputter. With the injured list piling up, Cincinnati has posted a brutal 76 wRC+ over the last two weeks, ranking third-worst in baseball. They've struck out in 28.2% of plate appearances and are hitting just .218. as a club.
Alex Cobb will get the ball here for the Giants in the midst of a brutal month. He's made five starts in August, pitching to a 6.84 ERA thanks to 33 hits against him in just 26 1/3 innings.
Cobb's been cruising for a bruising for quite some time now. His xBA wasn't good to begin with, coming in right around .260 for the first three months, before it shot up to .304 in July and .334 in August.
Cobb's ground ball rate has been slightly depressed all year, but a recent rise in hard-hit balls and barrels, coupled with a decline in swings and misses, has been the culprit. For all the bad luck he was said to have had last year, he's lucky his ERA doesn't stand near five runs right now.
The Giants are averse to hitting lefties, ranking 24th in wRC+ within the split, and generally speaking they've been pretty poor at the plate over the last two weeks with a 94 wRC+. If that wasn't bad enough, they've now lost Michael Conforto to injury just as he was heating up.
Strikeouts continue to be a huge problem for the Giants, and they've also produced a poor .127 ISO in the last 14 days.
Reds vs. Giants
Betting Pick & Prediction
I'm generally not a big fan of betting on the Reds considering their pitching has been suspect and their offense has fallen off a cliff in the last month, but this is as good a spot as any to play them.
I think Williamson has been a solid pitcher over the last two months given the metrics I laid out above, and I couldn't hate Cobb any more.
Cincinnati should welcome a pitcher who throws so many strikes and doesn't produce many swings and misses, and the increased contact should lead to some good things for a team that can still hit the ball hard even without its best players.
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