MLB Expert Picks: Reds vs Diamondbacks 07/08/17

MLB Picks and Parlays: Cincinnati and Arizona Continue Three-Game Set

by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper

Vegas Odds by Bovada
Reds  O/U 9½
Diamondbacks -155

Taijuan Walker

Cincinnati Reds has some of the best young talent in the Major Leagues, but as can be expected they are going through the growing pains of a full 162 game season. They started the season with a bang and were 29-30 as recently as June 8th. In the mediocre NL Central that had them challenging for first place. But a 1-13 stretch followed which pretty much dampened hopes for a playoff appearance this year.

At the same time, they’ve come out of it with a 7-5 record since then heading into this weekend’s games. That stretch includes taking two of three from first place Milwaukee, two of three from the Cubs and most recently a split in their four-game series at Colorado.

They are now 9.5 games out of first heading into the weekend.

They have the worst team ERA in the NL in the last two weeks, going 7-7 in spite a 5.65 ERA. They’ve averaged 4.5 RPG over the same period.

The grind of the season also appears to be catching up with Arizona Diamondbacks. This is a team that’s outperformed nearly everybody’s expectations after a series of injuries and poor performances derailed their season last year. They’ve been at or near the top of the hyper-competitive NL West all year, and are still comfortably in a wild card spot. But they are just 2-6 in their last eight games heading into this weekend. That includes a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers which dropped them 5.5 games out of first.

Each of those losses was by one run.

They’ve been one of the best pitching teams all year and that’s no exception in the last two weeks, with a 3.08 ERA, even though it’s only led to a 6-7 record. The offense has produced just 3.92 RPG in the same period.

Luis Castillo (0-1, 4.41 ERA) will start his fourth career game on Saturday for the Reds. He gave up four runs in 5.2 innings in his last start. He allowed just two runs in each of his previous two starts, totalling 10.2 innings. He’s a power pitcher with 17 strikeouts in his last 11.1 innings.

Taijuan Walker (6-3, 3.30 ERA) is having a breakthrough year for the Diamondbacks. He’s been especially sharp in his last seven starts lowering his ERA from 4.19 to it’s current level. He allowed one earned run in seven innings in his last start, a 4-3 win over the Rockies. The Diamondbacks have won his last five starts and he’s allowed eight runs in 30.1 innings pitched.

 

Cash It In: Arizona are -155 favorites, Cincinnati +135 underdogs. Given the fight in the Diamondbacks game of late and the superior pitching of Walker, that makes them a strong choice here. Diamondbacks 6-3.

MLB Expert Picks and Parlays: Diamondbacks -155  &  Under 9½

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