After dropping the first two games of this series, the Red Sox will look to avoid a home sweep at the hands of the Reds on Thursday night. Let’s take a look at the odds for this game, where my prediction is for the Sox to win and hit their moneyline of -165.
Reds Vs. Red Sox Prediction
After the Reds were projected by most to be one of the very worst teams in the league this year, the Reds are just 3 games under .500, and out of the NL Central division lead. The Red Sox are also hovering right around .500, although in a considerably tougher league and division, they’re dead last in the AL East, over 10 games back from Tampa in first place.
The first couple games of the series have been fairly high-scoring affairs, both won by Cincy by a single run. The first game featured a massive comeback from the Red Sox that came up just short, as they turned an 8-0 deficit into a 9-8 loss. Yesterday, Boston held a narrow lead before the Reds pulled ahead late to secure a series against the Sox for the first time since 1975.
It’s been quite a tough run for the Red Sox, who have lost 7 of their past 9 games. They started the season a bit stronger than many might have expected, but have been very streaky thus far. The Reds, however, are having a great road trip in baseball’s two centenarian stadiums, they swept the Cubs at Wrigley and are a game away from doing the same to the Red Sox at Fenway.
One area where the Red Sox were expected to excel was their lineup, which has in fact been strong- they’re the fourth-highest scoring team in baseball. The Reds are 14th in the same figure, definitely respectable and better than expected. Conversely, the two teams are 25th and 27th in team ERA.
Runs can be expected when they clash, and as such, I’m going with the over in this matchup between pitchers who are struggling a bit this year. For the result, I am going with the Sox to avoid the sweep; I believe in the offense too much to bet against, and Chris Sale has been significantly more effective at home this year.
Reds Vs. Red Sox Prediction: Red Sox ML (-165), o9 runs (-115)
Reds Vs. Red Sox Odds
The Red Sox are favorites at home with a moneyline of -165, compared to +140 for the Reds. With the runs total set at 9, the over is -115 while the under is -105.
Reds Vs. Red Sox Key Matchups
How will Chris Sale hold up against Boston’s right handed hitters? Will the Reds be able to take care of balls in play? Check out the key matchups that could decide this game below.
Chris Sale vs. All Righties
Over his career, the lefty Sale has had a tougher time with right-handed bats- and he can expect to see 9 of them against the Reds. That being said, he hasn’t shown those splits this season- in fact, it’s been quite the opposite- so there’s reason to believe he could be able to work through the “mismatch.”
The Reds offense has been led by young talent, which is never a bad thing to see. Spencer Steer leads full-time players in OPS, as well as home runs, as he’s getting off to a hot start in his first full MLB season. 23 year old Matt McLain has come on strong as well, after being called up to the bigs for the first time in mid-May; he’s crushing an OPS of .967, driven by an on-base percentage of .426.
A couple of slightly more veteran, but still young contributors are also doing a nice job at the plate for Cincy. Jonathan India is getting on base more than almost anyone else in the lineup, save for McLain and TJ Friedl, who is dealing with a minor injury and may not play. Jake Fraley is also building on some solid appearances in 2022, and has been a valuable mainstay in the lineup.
Hunter Greene vs. Contact Bats
The young Reds flamethrower Greene has a pretty decent gap between his ERA and FIP, with the latter being the lower of the two. This implies that he’s been a bit unlucky, and has been hurt on balls in play. Unfortunately for him, Boston’s team average of .264 is 4th in baseball, as they have several guys who excel at making contact.
One of those players is AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Masataka Yoshida, who leads all of Boston’s full-time players with a .317 batting average. Right out of the gate in his first season after coming over from Japan, he’s been the most consistent bat in a talented but sometimes uneven lineup.
Right behind him on the batting average list is a trio of players hitting in the .290s; Alex Verdugo, who has played pretty much every game, and then Reese McGuire and Jarren Duran, both of whom have been in and out of the lineup for various reasons. McGuire is basically just a contact bat without much pop, but the other two are having nice overall seasons.
Rob Refsnyder, hitting .284, is also putting together a solid campaign, as are several others up and down the Boston lineup. That offensive depth is one of the biggest reason I have the Red Sox hitting the moneyline of -165 and contributing to the over of 9 runs in my Reds vs. Red Sox prediction.
Reds Vs. Red Sox Starting Lineups
Reds Starting Lineup
3B K. Newman R
SS M. McLain R
2B J. India R
1B S. Steer R
DH T. Stephenson R
RF S. Fairchild R
LF N. Senzel R
CF J. Barrero R
C L. Maile R
Red Sox Starting Lineup
RF A. Verdugo L
3B R. Devers L
1B J. Turner R
DH M. Yoshida L
LF R. Refsnyder R
CF J. Duran L
SS E. Hernandez R
2B E. Valdez L
C R. McGuire L