Metric Pointing Underdog Value With Reds +118 As They Face Indians

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 7:14 PM GMT

The change of venue should have a big impact on MLB odds and the way tonight’s game plays out, with the home/road dichotomy strongly favoring a reverse in the outcome of tonight’s game.

Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds
The Battle of Ohio continues tonight in Great American Ballpark, the Indians took the first two of the four game interleague series on Monday and Tuesday. The host site moves from Cleveland to Cincinnati for tonight and again for tomorrow's series final. The change of venue should have a big impact on the way tonight's game plays out, with the home/road dichotomy strongly favoring a reverse in the outcome of tonight's game and MLB odds.

Indians
The Indians have been hitting well of late scoring 39 runs in their last 5 games. All 5 games have been played at home vs the Twins and the Reds. The Twins have one of the weakest rotations in all of baseball and the Reds have had all sorts of injuries to their starting rotation causing big problems in run suppression. The Indians also benefited from playing in Progressive Field, their home ballpark where the Tribe sees a big boost in offense. The Cleveland lineup has almost 100 points higher team OPS at home than they do on the road. The Indians really struggle when playing away from Progressive Field, The Tribe lineup ranks 25th out of 30 teams, posting a team OPS of .676.

Reds
The Cincinnati lineup currently sports almost 100 points higher in team OPS when playing at home. The Reds go from one of the worst hitting teams in all of baseball when playing on the road to sporting a team OPS of .737 when playing in Great American Ballpark. That increase puts them in the top half of all 30 MLB teams when sorting by team OPS at home. Combine the Indians offensive struggles on the road with the offensive boost that the Reds benefit from when hitting in their home ballpark and we see why the change in venue projects to have a major impact.

Conclusions
The home/ road splits are not the only splits projecting to have an impact on tonight's game. The Indians also struggle when facing lefties. Tonight's Reds starter lefty Brandon Finnegan should take full advantage of the Indians shortcomings. The Indians have a team OPS just short of 100 points lower when facing a southpaw.

On the flip side, the Indians are calling up 25 year old Mike Clevinger to make tonight's start. The former 2011 fourth round draft pick will be making his major league debut. His numbers is the minors have been up and down. He has averaged a strikeout an inning, but has also averaged more than 4 walks per 9. He is dealt a tough task of pitching on the road in a hitters friendly ballpark for his first major league start, I would not be surprised if his control issues arise early with the added nerves.

Given the home/ road dichotomy with the Indians offense combined with the strong lefty righty splits, both favoring the Reds, I believe the under the radar Reds squad is worth a look. However, the Reds have the worst bullpen in all of baseball posting a 1.66 WHIP from their relievers. In order to minimize the risk we take on through the Reds pen, I strongly recommend using the 1st 5 inning line as MLB pick. The Cincinnati Reds 1st 5 inning line +118 is my strongest recommendation on tonight's MLB card.

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Free MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds 1st 5 inning line +118
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