Ever since the callup of Elly De La Cruz, the Cincinnati Reds have gone 5-2 and are in the midst of a three-game win streak following last night’s win. With a win tonight, the Reds can secure their third straight series win, and we’ll preview the matchup before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
With their extra-innings loss last night, the Kansas City Royals are now 1-9 over their last ten games. The small bright side for the Royals is that they scored four runs in the game, which was the first time they scored more than three runs in five games. However, the downside is that they could have scored a lot more if they could cash in on opportunities, as they left 24 runners on base.
Salvador Perez provided the biggest hit of the night for Kansas City with his game-tying solo home run in the ninth, but the Royals bullpen could not capitalize off that momentum. As they look to snap their seven-game losing streak tonight, the Royals will send Jordan Lyles to the mound for his 14th start of the year. In 73.7 innings, the righty has pitched to a 6.84 ERA and enters tonight off his tenth loss of the season.
Lyles will face a Reds offense that has scored four or more runs in six of the seven games they’ve played since De La Cruz was called up. Last night they racked up ten hits, five of which went for extra bases, including a Stuart Fairchild home run and two doubles from TJ Friedl. Ultimately, the Reds won the game on an impressive slide from Friedl in extra innings, allowing him to beat a throw coming from third base on a routine grounder.
Getting the ball for Cincinnati tonight will be left-hander Brandon Williamson. The young lefty has made five career starts up to this point and, in 26.7 innings, has put up a 5.40 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 13 walks. Williamson got knocked around by the Dodgers in his most recent outing for six earned runs but was still able to escape with the no decision.
The Reds are currently listed at (-105) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Not only are the Reds playing with a ton of momentum, but they face a Royals team that is 0-13 in games that Jordan Lyles starts in. Not only is Lyles a liability tonight, but the Royals' offense has also struggled mightily against left-handed pitching as of late.
Over the last month, the Royals rank 27th in wRC+, 24th in OPS, and 24th in wOBA against left-handed pitching at home. They face a starter in Brandon Williamson, that has a batting average allowed of .216 and a fielding independent of 4.27 on the road. Once Williamson leaves the game, he’ll hand the ball to a Reds bullpen with a 3.40 ERA and .218 BAbip this month.
Offensively, the Reds are 2nd in wRC+, wOBA, and OPS against right-handed pitching on the road over the past month. This red-hot offense faces a starter in Jordan Lyles, who is in the 38th percentile in expected batting average, 10th percentile in expected slugging, and 11th percentile in barrel percentage. With his 5.90 FIP at home this season, I don’t think today is the day the Royals break their losing streak with him on the mound.
Cincinnati Reds (-105)