Diamondbacks to Take Game 1 in Series with Cincinnati

Who: Arizona Diamondbacks v. Cincinnati Reds

When: Tuesday July 18th, 2017 7:10PM EST

Where: Great America Ballpark—Cincinnati, Ohio

Though the Diamondbacks and Reds are teams with entirely different expectations for now through the end of the season, they have been playing equally dismal baseball in recent history. To be fair to the Reds, they have been playing poorly all season long. This should come as a surprise to no one seeing as they have openly discussed that this is, indeed, a rebuilding year. Even despite this, they are one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball and currently find themselves at the bottom of the NL Central, more than 11 games off the pace. Having just been swept by the Nationals, and outscored by a run total of 35-12 across 4 games, the Reds have to pick themselves back up at some point.

The Diamondbacks are unlike the Reds in that they have high hopes and expectations that they will be playing post-season baseball by the time the regular season is finished. The Diamondbacks have outputted perhaps their best ever performance through 90+ games, but have been struggling in recent weeks. Like the Reds, the D-Backs were just swept by the Braves, and lost 2 of 3 to this same Reds team before that. If they want to maintain their post-season hopes, the Diamondbacks are really going to have to step their game up.

Being that this is the first of a 3-game series, Bovada has offered moneyline odds for which team will take at least 2 games. Right now, the Diamondbacks (-165) are favored, while the Reds (+135) find themselves as slight underdogs. Despite the fact that Cincinnati took 2 of 3 when these teams last met, I think you have to go with the Diamondbacks in this one. They are, at least on paper, the much stronger team.

Game Overview and Analysis

For the visiting Diamondbacks (-147), it will be Robbie Ray (8-4 2.97 ERA) who is taking the mound. If you are looking at Ray’s stats and are impressed, you will be even more impressed when you find out that the left-hander has a sterling 1.34 ERA on the road. On top of that, he is amongst NL leaders as far as strikeouts are concerned, having accrued nearly 150 up to this point. Ray’s last 2 outings might have resulted in losses for his team (1 was a loss attributed to him), but he is still having a solid season overall. The durable pitcher is regularly able to make it 6+ innings, and I think that is exactly what he will do on Tuesday evening in Cincinnati.

On the mound for the Reds (+127) will be Sal Romano (1-1 4.50 ERA). Romano is being called back up to the Majors from Triple-A, where he was sent earlier this season. In his 10 Triple-A stats, Romano has accrued a 1-4 record and a 3.47 ERA. Though these figures are not overly impressive, the Reds’ coaching staff and front office see something in this 23-year old youngster. He earned his first MLB victory 12 days ago and will be looking to build off that performance.

As far as who is the better team in this one, I think the Diamondbacks have that title covered in just about every area of play. Though the Reds had the D-Backs’ number last time around, I think this series in Cincinnati will be different.

Betting Prediction

I think the moneyline wager you have to make in this one is on the visiting Diamondbacks (-147). The odds may not be the best you will ever see, but I think this matchup is hugely one-sided. Not only are the Reds starting an unproven youngster who was just called up from Triple-A, they are coming off of a sweep. While the D-Backs are also coming off a sweep and are playing poorly right now, they will turn it around at some point, and I think that point will be tonight.

The Diamondbacks’ team over/under is currently listed at 4.5 runs (-145/+110). I think the over (-145) in this one is the logical bet to make. Once again, this pick has everything to do with the fact that Sal Romano is a new, untested pitcher facing off against one of the best teams in MLB. I truly do not think he will have a solid outing, and even if he does do well, the Red’s bullpen is bound to bleed runs, as that is what they have done all season long.

Finally, your value bet of the game is on the point spread offered by Bovada, which sees the Diamondbacks listed as -1.5 runs favorites (+110). Being that I think the D-Backs will win this one handily, I do not think they will have many issues with covering this spread. Of all the wagers for this game, this is one that I think is highly plausible and also offers decent value.