Reds vs. Guardians Odds & Picks: Why to Bet Tuesday’s Over/Under
Via Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Naylor.
- The Guardians are home favorites on Tuesday night against the Reds.
- With both starting pitchers struggling, is there value in backing either side?
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Reds vs. Guardians Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-118 / -104)|
|Time||6:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
A couple days after a 1-0 loss despite pitching a no-hitter, the Cincinnati Reds will take on the Cleveland Guardians. Connor Overton will take the bump for the Reds against Zach Plesac for the Guardians.
Neither of these pitchers has had many strong showings this season. It is a duel between a 4.94 xERA against a 5.86 xERA. Shockingly, both of these teams have been above average against right-handed pitching this month. This should yield favorable results for those looking to back the over. If either pitcher struggles with command in this game, it is just an added bonus.
Reds Pitching Should Struggle
The Reds have had an unfortunate season. They are the only team in the majors with single-digit wins and do not look like they are in the best shape going forward.
Consequently, they will be easy sellers at the deadline, and Overton likely will help those selling aspirations. He ranks in the fourth percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the fifth percentile in Hard-Hit Percentage. Cleveland has a 115 wRC+ in May against righties.
For the Guardians, Josh Naylor is one of the best hitters when it comes to facing righties this season. José Ramírez, Yu Chang, Andrés Giménez, Steven Kwan, and Gabriel Arias all have maintained a .340+ xwOBA, as well. They have four bats (aside from Naylor) averaging at least 90 MPH off the bat against this side of the pitching rubber.
The Reds have a 5.49 ERA and -0.2 fWAR in May, and this should help the Guardians compound runs. They have a few reasonably solid relievers, but whenever they dig deeply into the bullpen, they give up runs. Of their relievers who have at least logged 10 innings pitched, only Luis Cessa and Buck Farmer have a sub-4.00 xFIP. Cleveland should score easily in the middle innings of this ballgame, especially if Overton is knocked out early.
Can Plesac Turn It Around for the Guardians?
When the Reds come up to bat, they should be able to squeeze a few runs across the plate, like the Guardians.
However, they do have some significant injuries as Joey Votto, Max Schrock, Jonathan India, José Barrero, Jake Fraley, and Nick Senzel are all on the Injured List. That should hurt, but considering how this team has done in general, no one looks to be having any fun.
But Zach Plesac won’t have fun either. Opponents are averaging an Exit Velocity of 90.4 MPH against his, and his floundering Strikeout Rate of 14% means the Reds will keep the ball in play. His Hard-Hit Percentage is at the highest mark in his career (44.1%).
Tommy Pham, Collin Moran, and Brandon Drury have been the only strong bats on the season against righties. In May, though, Mike Moustakas has also joined the party. The Guardians have a few bats, like Tyler Naquin, who have hit the ball hard and have not seen the results, too. This should be enough to flip the script to the bullpen and force Plesac out relatively early.
Cleveland’s 4.15 xFIP is not encouraging this month. The Guardians have allowed a 13.8% Walk Rate, which ranks second-highest in the MLB this May, only behind the Philadelphia Phillies. Emmanuel Clase is a nearly lockdown closer, but before him, there are some gaps the Reds can exploit.
There are several factors which should help hit the over in this ballgame. Sure, there are critical players who are injured or on the COVID-19 list, but both starters are abysmal and not getting better any time soon.
Overton has a propensity to rack up walks, and that should cause a litany of issues for the Reds bullpen. Plesac will allow hard contact. Those alone should push this game over, even if these teams are not notoriously strong hitters. Bet the over from 8 (-104) to 8.5 (-110).
Pick: Over 8 (-104) | play to 8.5 (-110)
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