Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Reds vs. Indians Betting Preview (Aug. 9)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Castillo
- The Reds and Indians wrap up their interleague series with a makeup game in Cleveland on Monday.
- Cincinnati sends Luis Castillo to the mound against rookie Sam Hentges.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down Reds vs. Indians and makes his betting pick below.
Reds vs. Indians Odds
|Over/Under||9.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||6:10 p.m. ET|
The Battle of Ohio will conclude for the year on Monday with a single makeup game from May 9. Cincinnati won three of the first five games and will look to secure the Ohio Cup victory for the first time since 2014.
The Reds have won five straight games and are 8-2 in their last 10. At 61-51, they sit in second place in the NL Central and are just 2.5 games out of a wild card position.
Cleveland is also second in their division but below .500 at 54-55. The AL Central is the only division in baseball with just one team above .500. Cleveland is just 3-5 in August so far, but you can be sure the Indians want to keep their seasonal winning streak over Cincinnati going.
Cincinnati’s Castillo Has Turned Things Around
I have a bit of love-hate relationship with Luis Castillo (RHP), who will get the start on Monday. By that I mean, I have hated him and loved betting against him, but recently he has loved proving me wrong. I am finally ready to admit it: Castillo is good again.
The first two months of the season were a disaster for Castillo. In 11 starts through the end of May, Castillo sat 1-8 with a 7.22 ERA and teams were batting .325 against him. He lost seven straight starts at one point and looked like the worst pitcher in the league.
Well, since the start of June the former All-Star remembered how to pitch and regained his form. Over the last 12 outings, Castillo has gone 5-2 with a 1.91 ERA and teams are batting just .197 against him. Only Walker Buehler has a lower ERA that Castillo over that stretch.
Offensively, the Reds have been terrific all season. They rank third in the league in wOBA and seventh in wRC+. Cincinnati had two All-Star starters in Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, who recently returned to the lineup.
That doesn’t even include Joey Votto who is certainly playing at an All-Star level. In his last 15 games, Votto is batting .328 with a 1.328 OPS and has 25 RBI and 11 home runs.
Struggling Rookie Takes the Mound for Cleveland
Cleveland will counter with rookie Sam Hentges (LHP) on the mound. The 25-year-old made his MLB debut this April and has made 17 appearances this year, eight of them starts. In 17 games, he has a 7.86 ERA and a 9.00 ERA in his eight starts.
It is clear that Cleveland is trying to ease the young arm into action as he has lasted five innings just twice all season, and never gone more than that. The 6-foot-6 left-hander throws his fastball in the high 90s but it has been teed off for a .462 batting average and .538 wOBA this season. His curveball has actually been really good this season, but teams are just sitting on his fastball.
Hentges made his last start on July 7 before being optioned back to Triple-A for some work. He was recalled at the end of July but has made just two relief appearances in August, tossing a pair of scoreless innings last week.
Cleveland’s offense is in rebuilding mode with star third baseman José Ramírez continuing to carry the team with a .360 wOBA and 128 wRC+. His 3.5 WAR is almost double the next closest position player.
Despite the efforts of Ramírez, Cleveland ranks just 24th in wOBA and wRC+ this season and doesn’t really have any true game breakers on offense anymore.
I am man enough to admit when I was wrong. Castillo doesn’t stink anymore, and in fact, has been one of the best pitchers in the league over the last two months. He should give the Reds a huge advantage over a rookie pitcher still struggling to find his footing.
Castillo has one of the best changeups in the game and Cleveland has a -8.2 run value against changeups this season, 24th in the league.
Even though the Reds don’t tend to be as good against left-handers, they hit fastballs better than any team in baseball and Hentges has been serving up his fastball on a silver plate to batters this season.
Cincinnati has been red-hot and is the much better team here. While I expect them to get the win and secure their first Ohio Cup series win in six years, laying a -180 price is a little too much with how shaky the Reds bullpen can be. Instead, I will back the Reds to lead after five innings (-0.5) at -135.
Pick: Cincinnati Reds First Five -0.5 (-135)