Cincinnati comes off of a bounce-back win on Wednesday evening and looks to carry the momentum into Thursday afternoon and take three of four from the D’Backs. Mat Latos gets the ball for the Reds against the relative enigma Trevor Cahill. Cincy opens as clear -175 favorites with a firm total at 8.0.
We’ve had success fading Arizona in spots where it goes up against pitchers with hard stuff that like to go right at the hitters. Mat Latos fits this profile perfectly as a hard thrower that doesn’t mess around with much soft stuff against hitters. Latos’ best pitch is his fastball and he’ll throw it early and often against the Snakes. Arizona does have some batters who can hit the fastball – namely Goldschmidt, Parra and Prado but much of the rest of the lineup tends to struggle against a plus fastball from an above-average pitcher. Latos has pitched well at home all season and already has an excellent start against Arizona under his belt on the year. The right-hander scattered six hits in more than seven innings against the Diamondbacks earlier this season. He seeks to repeat with another dominant performance with Cincinnati sitting just on the outside looking in on a fantastic race in the NL Central.
Latos will be opposed by similar-looking Trevor Cahill. Cahill is an interesting arm. He was fantastic early in his career in Oakland but he has started to fall off the map in Arizona despite being just 25 years old pitching for a young team with a pretty decent bullpen behind him. Cahill lives with his sinker getting ground balls low in the zone. The Reds are pretty good at hitting the low ball – especially their boppers Votto, Phillips and Bruce. Shin-Soo Choo has also been known to be able to go down and get a low ball from the left side of the plate every one and a while. Cahill has really struggled lately – surrendering 16 runs in his last three outings. The youngster is no stranger to large workloads but he seems to be fizzling out down the stretch in August, which can’t be good. Now Cahill has a tough test of going into Great American Ballpark and beating a team that seemingly has to win every day to keep pace in arguably the best division in baseball. Cahill’s ERA is almost two full runs bigger on the road than it is at home and it will be crucial that he keeps the ball down in the small confines of Cincy.
This game is correctly favored Cincinnati’s way. All signs point to a Cincy win with the better pitcher at home going for the team that simply is playing better and with more sense of urgency down the stretch looking to secure a spot in the Wildcard game. Lay the run with Cincy with potential for a romp if Cahill continues to scuffle.
Free Pick: Cincinnati -1 (-121)