Let’s make predictions for Thursday’s matchup and take a look at why the Yankees can claim the series win.
The Yankees got their groove back against the Blue Jays, winning three of four, and a weekend series against the Reds is a nice soft landing spot after facing two AL East contenders. Can Cincinnati steal some wins? It’ll be an untested Ben Lively against the Yankees’ lineup on Friday, though Clarke Schmidt is a wild card on the mound for New York. The Yankees are road favorites at -155 on the moneyline.
Yankees vs. Reds Prediction
This is not a fun one to bet. As well as the Yankees have played lately, Schmidt has been mostly abysmal this season and isn’t pitching in the friendliest stadium on Friday. The Yankees are also on a long stretch of games without an off day and are coming off two emotional four-game series against the Rays and Blue Jays. It wouldn’t be shocking to see this one end up as a letdown game.
The hangup to that logic is the Reds’ pitching staff. As solid as the bullpen has been this season, it’s going to be hard to piece together nine innings with reliever Ben Lively as the starter – especially with the way Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo have been hitting the ball.
Considering the Yankees are -155 on the moneyline, there’s actually some decent value on Reds +1.5 (-120). That’s the best pick here and could protect against a late-game blown lead by Cincinnati. There are too many red flags to go with the Yankees outright in this game.
Yankees vs. Reds Prediction: Reds +1.5 (-120)
Yankees vs. Reds Odds
The Yankees enter as moderate road favorites at -155 on the moneyline. The over/under is 10.5 runs.
That’s one of the highest over/under totals you’ll see this season, aside from the Mexico City series, but it feels justified given the uncertainty on the mound and Great American Ballpark’s hitter-friendly dimensions. Will the Yankees’ offense be the difference? Judge and co. have started to hit their stride lately.
Yankees vs. Reds Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Yankees vs. Reds.
The Reds’ rotation has been very underwhelming this season, with Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft both slipping up lately and Nick Lodolo on the IL. The bullpen has helped make up for it.
Cincinnati’s pen has a 2.2 WAR, the fifth-highest mark in baseball, and there is a core of five arms – led by Alexis Diaz – who have been solid for the Reds all season. They’re going to need nearly all of them on Friday. Lively hasn’t started an MLB game since 2018, so this is effectively a bullpen day against a Yankees lineup that has some hot hitters right now.
This unit can navigate the NL Central well, but can it work around Judge and Anthony Rizzo in a hitter-friendly ballpark with the way they’ve been hitting of late? That’s the storyline of this game.
Reds’ Contact Hitters vs. Clarke Schmidt
The Reds’ offense is near the middle of the pack in terms of AVG, sitting at .248, but that contact-hitting is still their best asset considering they’re near the bottom of the league in home runs. Some of their top contact hitters are going to need to do damage against Schmidt on Friday.
Schmidt is allowing an obscene 11.7 hits per nine innings this season. He just hasn’t passed the eye test against some of the league’s better lineups. Cincinnati will have to look to Jonathan India and Nick Senzel to just get on base and make things happen as similar hitters have against Schmidt all season.
Yankees vs. Reds Starting Lineups
Yankees Starting Lineup
2B Gleyber Torres R
RF Aaron Judge R
1B Anthony Rizzo L
3B DJ LeMahieu R
DH Jake Bauers L
CF Harrison Bader R
SS Anthony Volpe R
C Jose Trevino R
LF Oswaldo Cabrera S
Reds Starting Lineup
2B Jonathan India R
SS Matt McLain R
DH Jake Fraley L
1B Spencer Steer R
C Tyler Stephenson R
3B Nick Senzel R
DH Henry Ramos S
RF Wil Myers R
CF Stuart Fairchild R