Snooze Button: Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies Pro Baseball Handicapping

The Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies are coming off a 19-inning affair Wednesday night and now quickly turnaround for the series finale at Citizens Bank Park

Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia SP Cliff Lee gets the start in Thursday's series finale versus Cincinnati

Cincinnati fell to 1-5 on its 10-game road trip with a 5-4 loss in last night’s 19-inning marathon against Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.  “A real tough one to lose,” said manager Dusty Baker.  The Reds have now dropped into third place in the National League Central for the first time since April 30 and for a third straight day face a season-high 3.5-game deficit.  The club has had little luck against the Phillies on the road lately, posting a 9-19 record overall.  Outfielder Jay Bruce went 3 for 8 with a homer and three RBIs on Wednesday, but will likely be out of the lineup with a left-hander scheduled to be an opposing starter Thursday afternoon.  He’s batting .484 with five home runs and 12 RBIs over his last seven games, but is hitless in six at-bats against Lee.  Cincinnati is 12-10 in day games this season.

Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey has registered a 3-1 record and 2.08 ERA in four starts this season and is coming off his first loss of the season.  The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings in a 2-1 loss at Cleveland.  Bailey has been outstanding on the road win two opportunities, posting an even 1-1 mark and 1.29 ERA, failing to issue a single walk and striking out nine.  The former first-round pick is hoping to carry that success into tonight’s contest, as he’s a winless 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in three career starts versus the Phillies.

Philadelphia captured its 30th win in fewer than 50 games for the fifth time over the last 50 years, but enters today’s finale with just a one game lead on Florida.  The Phillies pitching staff has posted a 3.07 ERA this season, which is third-lowest among MLB teams.  Starters have played a major role in that success by allowing more than three runs in a game nine times this season, but only twice over the last 26 contests.  Philadelphia is 10-3 in day games this season and 18-16 versus right-handed starters.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee is looking to move his record to .500 and enters with a 3-4 mark and 3.37 ERA in 10 starts.  Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in his last four outings and he enters off one of his best outings of the season.  The left-hander tossed eight shutout innings at home against the Rangers, while issuing just two walks and fanning 10 batters.  It marked the fourth time this year that Lee reached double-digits in strikeouts.  In eight career starts versus the Reds, he is 4-2 with a 4.69 ERA, including a shutout in his only appearance against them in 2010.

Bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 20-6 record in Bailey’s last 26 starts, while the Phillies are 1-4 in their last five games following a win

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