Can the Reds Beat the Orioles in the MLB Odds on Wednesday?

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,April 18, 2017 9:42, EST in

Raise your hand if you predicted that the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds would each be in first place when they met in an interleague series in mid-April? The Reds are huge surprises but they will be MLB betting underdogs for Wednesday’s game.

Baltimore at Cincinnati MLB Betting Pick & Prediction

When: Wednesday, April 19, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Probable pitchers (away/home): Kevin Gausman/Amir Garrett
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: Baltimore / Cincinnati 
Opening MLB Lines: Orioles favored by TBA

Why Bet On Baltimore?

The Birds will lose the DH for this series. That’s usually Mark Trumbo, who led the majors in homers last year. Trumbo is struggling in 2017 but could still play right field.

How good has rookie first baseman Trey Mancini been? Mancini homered twice Sunday in the Orioles’ rout of the Blue Jays. He hit a three-run shot in the Orioles’ five-run sixth inning and a solo shot in the O’s five-run eighth. Mancini also had a two-homer day Wednesday versus the Red Sox and is up to four home runs on the year. The 25-year- old also boasts a.364/.417/.955 batting line. Mancini’s seven home runs in his first 12 career games, dating back to last season, ties him with Trevor Story and Dino Restelli for the most in the modern era. With his two 400-foot blasts in Sunday’;s rout of Toronto, Mancini tied with the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes for most multi-homer games (2) so far in the 2017 season.

The Birds are without All-Star closer Zach Britton, who is on the 10-day DL with left forearm soreness. Britton recorded his fifth save of the season on Friday. It was Britton’s 54 th consecutive converted save, tied for second-most all-time since saves became an official statistic in 1969. The streak is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues (dating to October 1, 2015). Britton recorded 47 consecutive saves in 2016, going 47-for- 47. His 0.54 ERA (4 ER/67.0 IP) led Major League relievers and was the lowest in Major League history among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched. Britton’s 125 career saves rank second all-time in Orioles history.

It’s Kevin Gausman (1-0, 3.94) for the Orioles. Gausman tossed six innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks while striking out three in Thursday’s victory over Toronto. Gausman’s quality start pushed him to his first win in nine career appearances at Rogers Centre. The right-hander did an excellent job eliminating the home-run happy environment as a factor by recording 11 of his 18 outs on the ground, including one double play. Thursday’s performance was far and away Gausman’s best in three starts this season. Wednesday’s start is the 26-year- old Colorado native’s first against the Reds.

Gausman is throwing more sliders this year, coming entirely at the expense of his four-seam fastball and his previously little-used sinker. He has scrapped the latter pitch and cut back on the former, with all of those pitches funneled to his only breaking ball. Righties are 14-for- 48 with four walks against Gausman, but only three of those hits have gone for extra bases, and all of those were doubles. As for the slider specifically, five have been put in play, with hitters going 2-for- 5 with two singles.

Why Bet On Cincinnati?

The Reds are winning despite having four starting pitchers on the DL. The latest to go on it was lefty Brandon Finnegan. Finnegan left Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers after one inning. The Reds said he had a strained left lat muscle on Saturday but adjusted the nature of his injury Sunday. He joined right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (60-day DL with strained UCL), right-hander Rookie Davis (10-day DL with bruised right forearm) and right-hander Homer Bailey (60-day DL after elbow surgery).

One of the most surprising statistics through the first two weeks of the season is the 2.79 ERA of the Cincinnati Reds relievers. That ranked third among National League bullpens. In 2016, the Reds converted just 28 of 53 save chances and the relievers’ 103 home runs allowed were the most in major-league history.

“Not to hammer the players who were here last year really because they just did not have any defined roles whatsoever,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We had guys with limited experience and in a lot of cases, unfortunately, limited ability. We were able to start stacking arms last season in the second half when we added (Michael) Lorenzen and Iglesias and started to look like a major-league bullpen.”

Here the Reds go with rookie Amir Garrett. The 6-foot- 5 lefty played two years of college basketball at St. John’s, where he was a decent player but realized he wasn’t going to make the NBA. The Cincinnati Reds drafted Garrett in 2011, he turned full-time to baseball in 2014 and quickly climbed the prospect ranks thanks to a 90-95 fastball and a plus slider. Garrett earned a rotation job out of spring training and he has responded with two excellent starts to begin his major league career.

After six scoreless innings against the Cardinals in his debut, Garrett took a shutout into the seventh inning against the Pirates last Wednesday before David Freese hit a two-run homer. Garrett held batters to a .192 average in the minors last season, so he can be tough to hit, but command issues led some to believe he’d eventually end up in the bullpen.

Baltimore at Cincinnati MLB Betting Pick: Baltimore Orioles

The Reds simply aren’t this good. The losing will start soon. Back the Birds here.