Reds – Diamondbacks (9/14)

Today’s Bet: Cincinnati Reds ML @ (2.15/+115)

Key Factors:

  • DeSclafani against right-handed batters (and last week’s game)
  • Merrill Kelly as a favorite?
  • Bullpens

Today we will see a rematch of last week’s series between the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks. Unlike last week, these teams will meet in Arizona. Different stadium and also a different hitting environment, which will factor in our analysis to follow.

Anthony DeSclafani

If you are familiar with our bets posted on Telegram Anthony DeSclafani should be familiar to you. We often bet on him or against him due to his extreme pitching splits you’ll see in the chart below:


It is pretty clear to see where DeSclafani succeeds and where he fails. He needs to have many right-handed hitters in an opposing lineup to be successful and he’ll get that with the Arizona lineup this evening:

Dbacks lineup.JPG

A few things to note in the Arizona lineup. First, you’ll notice the middle of their batting order is primarily right-handed.  DeSclafani will have an advantage with these hitters (a 0.265 wOBA is extremely low for opposing hitters). The biggest concern is with the four lefties in the lineup. DeSclafani allows a 0.249 ISO (a lot of power) to left-handed batters. However, this is less concerning with only Marte and Escobar having high ISOs themselves. Rojas and Dyson lack power in general and DeSclafani should be able to survive. The lineup seen below was the lineup Arizona used last Sunday, but if Arizona decides to add lefties to their lineup, much of their bench hitters lack ISO and power. Although the splits aren’t perfect, the lack of home run potential will help DeSclafani here. He faced the Diamondbacks in his home ballpark (a more difficult stadium to pitch in) and allowed just 3 hits in 6 innings but he allowed a home run to Marte. Tonight Arizona his a much more friendly park has the stadium introduced a humidor in 2018 which has turned it into a more pitcher-friendly ballpark and fewer home runs have been hit as a result.


Merrill Kelly



Reds lineup.JPG

Looking at Merrill Kelly, his numbers are not as great. He struggles more against lefties and will face up to 5 in the Reds lineup. He only has a 16.9% strikeout rate against players from the left side of the plate and allows a 0.342 wOBA (not impressive) and the Reds hitters should be able to do well. The other thing is that he does slightly better against right-handed batters but allows more power (0.221 ISO). The two right-handed batters in the Reds lineup, Suarez and Aquino have the most power. Overall, the splits make sense for the Reds here and Kelly could have one of his bad games he occasionally has as seen in his game logs over the last ten games:



Last 30 Days

4.18 ERA
4.05 xFIP
1.6 WAR

4.26 ERA
5.03 xFIP
-0.2 WAR

In terms of bullpens and relief pitching, quite a contrast we’re seeing over the last 30 days. The Reds beat Arizona in these statistical categories. Arizona is currently on a 6 game losing streak and have gone through many relief pitchers over the last week including 7 just two days ago in an 11-1 loss to the Mets. The Reds, on the other hand, are in slightly better form and although they cannot make the playoffs, are looking to finish the year strong. The Diamondbacks have free fallen in the last week and a currently 4.5 games out of the final wild spot in the National League. You could argue, they need a win tonight and the odds reflect that. However, considering these matchups that we have mentioned, we will take a shot on the Reds tonight. In our opinion, these odds should be closer to even on both sides. Logically speaking it is hard to justify backing a team on a 6-game losing sreak like Arizona unless the matchup is amazing. Quite frankly, we cannot trust Merrill Kelly. While DeSclafani has his mediocre games as well, the Arizona lineup looks appealing for him on paper and we see potential in him tonight especially after last week. The relief pitching situation may also favor the Reds slightly and overall these little edges added up will lead us to roll with the Reds this evening.


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