Monday MLB Betting Preview – Phillies at Reds

The Phillies and Reds get back to National League action with a pair of right-handers doing battle.

Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia closed out its interleague schedule with a 10-8 record after bombing the Toronto Blue Jays 11-2 on Sunday afternoon.  “The weather is getting hot, this is hitting season and we’re starting to swing the bats better,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.  Over their last 11 games (8-3), the Phillies have scored 75 runs and have had 10 or more hits in seven of those 10 games.  Before this current streak, Philadelphia went through a 25-game slump that saw the team hit .217 and plate just 63 total runs. Scoring more than three runs in a game has been the barometer this season, with Manuel’s team going 31-6 when going over the mark and 8-27 when falling short.  The Phillies have been a solid road underdog of +100 to +125 over the past three years (31-21, +1,360), but the club is just 3-3 this year (+10).

Phillies SP Kyle Kendrick is 4-2 with a 4.71 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) in 2010 (+210), allowing 11 home runs in 80.1 innings of work.  The right-hander is a perfect 3-0 in three starts against tonight’s opponent (+300), even though he carries a 6.61 ERA in those outings.  Kendrick has bounced back nicely after producing a 7.61 ERA in April, combining to post a 3.49 over the past two months.  He should benefit from tonight’s location, as he’s 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA on the road (-60) compared to an even 2-2 mark and 6.62 ERA at home this season.  Kendrick will need to be cautious with the Reds’ left-handed batters, as he’s allowed opposing batters from the left side to hit .313 against him.

Cincinnati failed to move its winning streak to six games, falling 5-3 to the Cleveland Indians at the Great American Ballpark.  The Reds finished interleague play with an 8-7 record, which produced the fourth winning mark against the AL since 1997.  The offense leads the National League in hitting (.275), runs scored (369) and hits (708).  Manager Dusty Baker’s team must take advantage of this series, as the team will head out on a 15-day road trip afterwards that leads them into the All-Star break.  “We can’t be upside down facing those Phillies,” Baker said.  Cincinnati has been a very exciting team to watch this year, leading the Major Leagues with 24 comeback wins and rank second with 13 wins in their last at-bat.

Reds SP Johnny Cueto is 7-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 starts this season and hasn’t allowed a home run in four straight outings.  Limiting the long ball is always important against tonight’s opponent, as the Phillies have hit three off of the right-hander in just 7.2 innings.  He will make his first start at home since June 12, but has allowed just a single earned run and 11 hits over 12.2 frames on the road against Seattle and Oakland.  Cueto is a solid 3-1 with a 4.19 ERA in seven home starts this year.  He has seven quality starts this season, but has fallen victim of five blown saves, which is the most in the Major Leagues.

Bettors may find Kendrick’s perfect record too hard to pass up despite the inflated ERA in those appearances, but the Phillies are just 2-7 in his last nine starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.  The Reds have cost backers as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season (5-5, -170), with the total being 6-2-2 O/U in those games.

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