The Rockies' win yesterday didn’t come without issues, as they ended up getting into a benches-clearing scuffle with Bryce Harper and the Phillies. Ultimately once that was sorted out, Colorado avoided getting swept in the series and will remain at home today as they play host to the Cincinnati Reds. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
Cincinnati went into yesterday afternoon's game against the Marlins with a chance to sweep and win their fourth straight, but they could not get the job done as they fell 3-1. The Reds offense that had scored five or more runs in three consecutive games was held to just five hits yesterday while also striking out 11 times and leaving 17 runners on base.
On a positive note for Cincinnati, they will head to a hitter-friendly ballpark now, and they have reinforcements as one of their top prospects, Matt McLain, is expected to be called up and in the lineup today. The slugging infielder was hitting .346 in Triple-A with 12 homers and could provide a nice spark for the Cincinnati lineup.
Getting the ball for the Reds tonight will be right-hander Hunter Greene to make his ninth start of the season. Greene has thrown 39 innings and pitched to a 3.69 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 16 walks. The young righty took the loss in his most recent outing but still gave his team a chance to win, as he went 5 ⅓ innings with four strikeouts and two earned runs.
Greene faces a Rockies lineup hitting .284 at home but still ranks 29th in the league in wRC+. In yesterday's win, rookie Brenton Doyle left the yard for the second time this season. Besides the benches clearing, the real story in yesterday's game was Kyle Freeland and the Rockies bullpen throwing a shutout.
Right-hander Connor Seabold, who just transitioned to a starter, will get the ball for Colorado today to make his third start. In ten innings as a starter, Seabold has picked up four strikeouts and allowed four earned runs but was able to pick up his first win of the year in his most recent outing.
The Reds are currently priced at (-122) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Colorado is 1-4 in the opening game of their last five series, and they now face a tough pitching matchup with Hunter Greene. On the other hand, despite struggling yesterday, the Reds are still 4-2 over their last six games and have scored five or more runs in those four wins.
Connor Seabold does not have overpowering stuff, as he comes into today in the 12th percentile in strikeout percentage, 16th percentile in whiff rate, and 8th percentile in chase rate. The righty is also very fastball-heavy, throwing 57.4% of the time, but he is in the 13th percentile in fastball spin and has a flyball rate that is 8.1% higher than the league average, which is a problem at Coors Field.
Pitching-wise for the Reds, Hunter Greene has been phenomenal on the road this season, with a 2.49 ERA and no home runs allowed in 21.2 innings. The right-hander is in the 80th percentile in strikeout percentage and 60th percentile in expected batting average, so he has the advantage in terms of stuff in this matchup. Additionally, the Reds bullpen is 10th in left-on-base percentage and has one of the lowest HR/9 averages in the league.
Cincinnati Reds (-122)