The first-place Arizona Diamondbacks go for a home sweep of one of the best teams in baseball Sunday afternoon. Young Randall Delgado takes the bump for the Snakes against Cincinnati ace and former NL West foe Mat Latos. The Reds open as road favorites with the apparent matchup advantage of starting pitchers.
The Reds’ Jay Bruce has been on a power surge over his last ten games, despite the fact that Cincinnati has just come out winners in four of the ten. Bruce’s eight long balls in the span makes up over 44 percent of his season’s total (18). He is only one of the many big Cincinnati bats that youngster Randall Delgado will have to deal with. Delgado has decent numbers in a very small sample size of innings this year but he has shown the ability to dominate teams at times with dominant stuff when he was in Atlanta. Delgado has the advantage of mystery on his side. Not one batter in the Reds’ lineup has seen Delgado more than six times and many have yet to face the electrifying righty even once. Expect Delgado to come out and make some of the Reds’ hitters look silly by getting swings and misses. Delgado’s splits against righty/lefty are quite even over his career and he loves pitching at home where his career ERA is more than half a run less at home than on the road. Delgado does not necessarily need to go deep into this game but if he gives Arizona five solid innings and hands the game over to their dominant bullpen it will be a success for Delgado.
Mat Latos has been the ace that Cincinnati fans expect him to be this year. Latos is 6-1 with an ERA of 3.20 and a WHIP of just under 1.20. The 6’6″ 245 lb. right-hander has had a decent degree of success against Arizona hitters over his career. Of all the Diamondbacks with double-digit career at-bats against Latos, only one has a career batting mark over .300. That would be Gerardo Parra who is 4 for 12 career against Latos. Latos picked up his first loss last week against Pittsburgh and his team has lost in each of his last two starts. Between the individual letdown for Latos and his team being in a dire spot on the road against a potential playoff team trying to avoid a sweep, look for Latos to be at his best and take the ball deep into the later innings of this one. Latos likes the pressure of a big game and he should respond well against an Arizona offense that doesn’t overwhelm a power pitcher like Latos.
There does not seem to be much value on either side of this game; however, the total of 9 appears to be a little high here in a matchup of two pitchers with excellent stuff. Either has potential to be slightly erratic at times but I look for both to come out sharp in a big game and hand the ball over to two of the best bullpens in baseball. The total is simply a little too high here. Take the value with the under.
Free Pick: Cincinnati/Arizona Under 9 (-120)