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Reds vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Cincinnati Has Value in the Bronx (Tuesday, July 12)

Reds vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Cincinnati Has Value in the Bronx (Tuesday, July 12) article feature image

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Graham Ashcraft #51 of the Cincinnati Reds.

  • The Reds travel to the Bronx to begin a three-game set against the Yankees.
  • Gerrit Cole is on the bump for the Yankees, and that may not be good news for the home squad.
  • D.J. James dives into why you should take the heavy underdog in this one.

Reds vs. Yankees Odds

Reds Odds+270
Yankees Odds-335
Over/Under8 (-120/-102)
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Gerrit Cole may be an All-Star for the American League, but his expected numbers are not nearly as impressive as some other names across the league. Long story, short: he is “getable”. Cole and the Yankees will go on to face Graham Ashcraft and the Cincinnati Reds in New York on Tuesday.

Ashcraft owns a 3.74 xERA against a 4.35 ERA, so he has been fairly unlucky, while Cole has a 3.26 ERA against a 3.20 xERA. His expectations are right around reality.

The kicker here is that although Cincinnati only has held an 84 wRC+ mark over the course of the last month, they have a number of hitters who can put together solid plate appearances off of right-handers.

The Reds are not a strong team, but these two starters are far too close to give the Yankees, who have slumped in the last few games, this steep of a moneyline. Is there any value on the underdog? Let’s dig deeper into the matchup.

Ashcraft Turning Corner for the Reds

Ashcraft has been a nice surprise for Reds fans this season. As a top prospect in the system, it is encouraging to meet some expectations. Now, one concerning area is Ashcraft rarely strikes batters out. He is a pitch-to-contact hurler, and that style could sometimes cause issues against a team like the Yankees, who lead MLB in Average Exit Velocity.

That said, he only walks batters at a 4.1% rate. This is elite, and opponents are only averaging an Exit Velocity of 85.9 MPH. This ranks in the 94th percentile in the Majors, so this should negate the damage from New York bats, at least with him in the game.

However, he does have a steep hill to climb. The Yankees have eight hitters over a .340 xwOBA against righties in the last month. Ashcraft needs to limit the speed off the bat, and it will give Cincy a chance in the outcome of this ballgame.

The largest hindrance to a Reds’ cover is the plague of injuries for their bullpen. In the past month, they own a 4.41 xFIP. Of those who are healthy, five of eight relievers have a sub-4.00 xFIP. This is more than enough backup for Ashcraft, when he finally exits the game.

Will the Yankees Get Back to Dominance?

Now, Cole is the antithesis of Ashcraft. He has a strikeout rate of 31.2%, and Cincy has a rate of 25.5% over the last month off of righties. This does not necessarily bode well for them, but the Reds have six batters over a .340 xwOBA, while Brandon Drury and Tyler Naquin follow shortly thereafter above .320. This essentially equates the two lineups in this game.

Cincy has hitters who can battle Cole the entirety of his outing, so since there is not much of a discrepancy in the hitting department, it provides the Reds’ line with value.

New York’s bullpen has a 3.60 xFIP over the past month. They also have a plethora of bullpen injuries, like the Reds. Aroldis Chapman is the only one on the active roster with a 4.00-plus xFIP, so they have enough artillery to come in after Cole leaves.

Do not expect as much damage late from Cincy. They will have to do some damage off of Cole, but they have a 112 wRC+ off of lefties in the last month, so they should fare well off of Chapman, Lucas Luetge, and Wandy Peralta.

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Reds-Yankees Pick

Cincinnati should have a lower moneyline in this game. They have enough of a decent group of hitters who can get to Cole. If they spot any of the lefties out of the Yankees’ relief corps, they could string together a couple of late runs, too.

Take the Reds from +270, and play this line to +215. After all, the Yankees are not infallible. They split with the Pirates and Red Sox in their last two series.

Pick: Cincinnati Reds (+270)

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