Take Underdog Reds As Your MLB Pick vs. Indians In Battle Of Ohio

Monday, May 16, 2016 3:00 PM GMT

The four-game Battle of Ohio begins in Cleveland Monday, and although the Reds are one of the worst teams in the league, they have MLB pick value vs. Cody Anderson of the Indians.

 

The road underdogs look to have value vs. a struggling pitcher when the four-game, home-and-home Battle of Ohio commences Monday night as southpaw John Lamb and the Cincinnati Reds (15-22, 3-12 away) pay a visit to right-hander Cody Anderson and the Cleveland Indians (17-17, 9-8 home) at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 6:10 ET in a game available on Sports Time Ohio.

The posted money line at Heritage Sports has Cincinnati as a decided road underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +143.

 

Records are Closer that Most Expected
The Reds were among the worst teams in the Major Leagues last season when they were beset by injuries, and now even a healthy Cincinnati team is struggling this season although the 15-22 record could actually be better than many forecasters predicted for this stage of the year. The Reds avoided a weekend sweep at Philadelphia by salvaging the finale of that three-game series vs. the Phillies with a 9-4 win yesterday as the offense awoke with 14 hits.

The Indians were a chic pick to win the American League Central before the year due to their fine young starting pitching, but they actually have just two more wins than the Reds at 17-17 and they fell to the .500 mark by being the losing MLB picks the last two games to the lowly Minnesota Twins here at home, a Twins’ team that had eight wins all year before those two contests!


 

Not Much Better Since Returning from Minors
Now, we mentioned that great young Cleveland starting pitching, but one pitcher not expected to be a regular in the rotation is tonight’s starter Anderson, who is 0-3 with a lofty 7.31 ERA and 1.66 WHIP with the Indians as a team losing all five of his starts. Things got so bad for Anderson that he was sent down to the minor league after allowing five earned runs and 10 hits in 5.2 innings vs. that poor Minnesota team on April 26th.

Anderson was then recalled to start vs. the Kansas City Royals on May 7th, where he lost while allowing four earned runs on six hits in five innings, and he then lost again in relief in his last appearance vs. the Houston Astros last Wednesday. Anderson allowed a walk-off home run in the 16th inning of that game, so even pitching in relieve he kept alive a dubious streak that has now seen him allow at least one home run in all six of his appearances this season!

Granted Anderson’s FIP and xFIP are lower than the ERA, but both figures are still poor regardless at 5.97 and 4.29 respectively while leading to a -0.3 WAR at this early stage, which does not exactly inspire confidence at this decidedly favored price.

 

Couple of Nice Outings for Lamb
Lamb meanwhile has pitched quite well in his two outings since being recalled by the Reds, as he first allowed one run on six hits in six innings vs. the San Francisco Giants in his initial 2016 Major League start and then allowed one run on two hits in four innings vs. the Milwaukee Brewers before being pulled from the game due to a bruised thumb.

Lamb has had plenty of time to heel from that May 8th outing though as his last scheduled start was rained out, so he should be good to go tonight. This will be Lamb’s first ever start against the Indians and he is facing a Cleveland offense whose worst split this year has been vs. left-handed pitchers at home, batting a mere .216 and averaging a measly 2.35 runs per nine innings in this circumstance.

Also, even the rightfully maligned Cincinnati bullpen has posted a much better 3.18 ERA in the last five games covering 16.2 innings.

 

Tribe Not Fans of Interleague
Finally, the Indians may not be the biggest supporters of interleague play as they are now 0-4 in their last four interleague games overall as well as 0-6 in their last six interleague games vs. left-handed starters. Meanwhile, the Reds may not be very good but at least they have taken advantage of some suspect pitching, going 5-1 in their last six games vs. starters with a WHIP greater than 1.30.

We actually think that the Reds have a nice starting pitching edge here tonight, making Cincinnati our underdog call at a nice price visiting Cleveland in the Battle of Ohio on Monday.

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MLB Pick: Reds +143
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline
MLB Record: 21-20-1, +4.56