MLB Odds, Pick, Prediction: Reds vs. Phillies Betting Preview (Saturday, August 14)

MLB Odds, Pick, Prediction: Reds vs. Phillies Betting Preview (Saturday, August 14) article feature image
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Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper.

  • The Reds and Phillies continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Both teams send a subpar pitcher to the mound, with Cincinnati's Luis Castillo facing Matt Moore of Philadelphia.
  • D.J. James is focusing on the game's total with two lineups in favorable matchups.

Reds vs. Phillies Odds

Reds Odds -145
Phillies Odds +125
Over/Under 9.5 (-105)
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

Two comparable teams face off in this Saturday matinee matchup.

Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds will pitch against Matt Moore of the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams are in contention for playoff spots, so this series and duel may prove to be huge as the MLB season approaches its ending.

Luis Castillo is a pretty volatile arm with good stuff and moderate peripherals. Matt Moore is subpar to put it lightly, so is there any advantage to betting on him? Is Castillo going to have one of his outings when he cannot locate his off-speed pitches and gives up eight earned, like he did in Cleveland his last time out?

Let’s dive in.

Cincinnati Packs Decent Punch at Plate

Well, Luis Castillo is an enigma. He has one of the best pitch arsenals in the National League but somehow finds his way into jams against some of the worst offenses in the league.

The Phillies are not great at the plate, but they are surely stronger than the Cleveland Indians, whom Castillo just struggled with. That said, before that outing, he had not given up more than three runs since May. Just when he started to figure it out, he went back to his old ways, so it is pretty tough to gauge an edge in the starting pitching matchup here.

However, Cincinnati has found itself a mere 3.5 games out of the second wild card in the National League. Much of their production when facing a southpaw has come from Jonathan India, the prized, former first-round pick. He has struck a 152 wRC+ and .446 OBP this season from that side of the pitching rubber.

Aristides Aquino, Kyle Farmer, Tyler Stephenson and Nick Castellanos also provide above-average offense versus lefties. And since July 1, Joey Votto has joined the production party, so having six viable options in the lineup against an ailing Matt Moore certainly gives Cincy an edge in the batter’s box.

As for the bullpen, Cincinnati has its issues. Losing Tejay Antone and Art Warren to the injured list has hindered its abilities late in games, but adding Justin Wilson and Luis Cessa have revamped whatever was left of the relief corps on this squad. Sure, they have enough arms to give them an inning here and there, but none are very overpowering. There is no edge here, much like the starting pitching in this game.

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Phillies Lineup Keeping Team Afloat

Matt Moore has displayed awful peripherals this season. The soft-tossing lefty ranks in the bottom half of the league in walk percentage, and since transitioning to longer inning duties, his last few outings have been brutal. Unlike Castillo, Moore does not have the pitch options to bail himself out. His 59% fastball usage showcases how he does not have much in the tank.

The staples of this lineup are keeping the team afloat in the National League East. That and the Mets absolutely tanked their lead in the division away. Bryce Harper is an MVP candidate and holds a monster 175 wRC+ this season with 19 bombs versus right-handers, so this matchup plays into his favor.

Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins, Brad Miller and J.T Realmuto also have favorable numbers against righties. Didi Gregorius, Odúbel Herrera and Alec Bohm have also contributed immensely since July 1, when a righty toes the rubber. They have the artillery to set themselves up for success early facing Castillo.

Much like the Reds, injuries have plagued the already underwhelming bullpen. Bailey Faltar, Sam Coonrod, José Alvarado, Jojo Romero and Vince Velasquez have all found themselves on the injured list. This leaves very little wiggle room for Moore, and since he cannot go very deep into games, the Reds offense may be able to put plenty of runs across the plate.

Reds-Phillies Pick

Given how both starting pitchers could struggle early, both bullpens are short-handed and both lineups seem to have strong matchups, there is no other way to go than over the total in this one.

Even if Castillo has a dominant outing, the Phillies will at least be able to get a few across on Cincinnati’s relievers. Take the over 9.5 (-105) and play to 10 (-110).

Pick: Over 9.5 (-105)

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