The Cincinnati offense just isn’t quite the same without its MVP, Joey Votto. The Reds haven’t scored more than 3 runs in a week and last night’s disaster was the latest flop in a string of poor offensive performances. Josh Collmenter looked like the second coming of Grover Alexander in Thursday’s complete game when he faced the minimum in Chase Field. And Votto won’t be back for Friday’s matchup, either. The Reds will have to figure out a way to manufacture runs against Bronson Arroyo, who is a small favorite at home.
It will be interesting to see how Bronson Arroyo’s tender elbow looks tonight against his former club. Arroyo has been awesome in the last five, six starts. He allowed five runs in seven innings against St. Louis two starts ago, but other than that he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start since April 21 against Chicago. In that time, Arroyo has made six starts and either shutout the opponent, or held it to a single run in four of those. There are no secrets about Arroyo, but his ability to locate and avoid mistakes routinely makes him one of the toughest starters to hit for a big innings. And based on the way Cincinnati has been swinging the bats, there’s not a whole lot of reason to think that it gets off the schnide Friday night on the road. As long as Arroyo is healthy, expect a quality start – and maybe even better.
Mike Leake actually has his similarities to Arroyo as one of the most overlooked young stars in the game. I often have the same things to say about Leake, but it can’t be said enough. Leake is a stud and he does it every five days like he’s far beyond just 26 years old. Leake has put together arguably his best start yet. And although he’s just 2-4 in the record column, his ERA of 2.79 and WHIP of 1.06 pop off the page. Arizona has been playing better as of late, but I expect Leake to continue to dominate against a mediocre offense that’s still without Mark Trumbo. As long as he doesn’t let Paul Goldschmidt come up with any hit too big, Leake should traverse the ‘Zona offense without much trouble.
With the expectation of a good start on either side and two rested bullpens, I’m going to play this under and feel real good about bringing it to the window.
Free Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)
YTD: 19-13 +4.13