Rain washed away the fun in Cincinnati on Wednesday, which means the Reds will host two on Thursday at Great American Ballpark. The pitching matchup from Wednesday’s scheduled game will remain intact for Thursday’s matinee against the Padres, but the price has evened slightly from the original line. Ian Kennedy opposes Johnny Cueto in a game where the home team is just a -130 favorite now with unpredictable lineups ahead of the doubleheader.
There haven’t been a whole lot of pitchers better than Johnny Cueto 25 percent of the way through the 2014 campaign. Cueto has thrown 63 innings in eight starts and has gone seven in each of those outings. He’s not only pitching deep into games. Opposing lineups haven’t been able to figure out how to square up any of Cueto’s deceptive stuff. And he’s given up no more than two runs every times out. All in all, it adds up to a microscopic 1.43 ERA with a nearly non-existent WHIP of 0.73. You will be hard-pressed to find any pitcher more dominant in baseball to this point, which is why I’m still searching for a reason as to why he’s only a -130 favorite in his home ballpark against a very okay team and a starting pitcher who isn’t Clayton Kershaw.
Ian Kennedy has thrown the ball really well of late – giving up one run in three of his last four starts. He’s allowing less than a hit an inning and and has super ERA and WHIP numbers (3.12 and 1.08, respectively). Great American is certainly no Petco. And Kennedy does tend to throw lots of fly balls, but there’s good reason to think he’ll pitch well against a Reds team struggling offensively and without its biggest power threat in Jay Bruce.
There’s really no reason to think that San Diego musters much of anything against Cueto in this one. And with a -130 price tag, the Reds are an excellent play. In fact, when I began this write-up Cincinnati was the free play. But now that I really think about it, there really isn’t a whole lot to like about Cincinnati doing much of anything in a spot where the Reds may not have their best lineup on the field either. Forget the 20 cents. We’re hot anyway. This one’s going under!
Free Pick: Under 7.5
2014 YTD: 15-6 +7.74