In the second of a two-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (30-35) and the Detroit Tigers (30-35) at the Great American Ball Park, Mike Leake (3-4, 4.35 ERA) and Justin Verlander (0-0, 3.60 ERA) get the ball. The Reds won the last game 8-4 and Cincinnati leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jun. 18 and will air on FSN-DET and FSN-OH.
In his most recent outing, Leake pitched 5.0 innings, allowing three runs and striking out one in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs. Todd Frazier (.294, 48 Rs, 22 HRs, 46 RBIs, 8 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 6 with two runs, two home runs, and five RBIs. In his pitching opportunities against the Reds, Verlander is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA, nine strikeouts and three walks. Miguel Cabrera (.342, 38 Rs, 15 HRs, 51 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs.
Cincinnati is favored by a slight -109 margin in its matchup against Detroit. Oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at eight runs. The Reds are in an interesting position this season. While they have a notable winning record in games where they're the favorite (17-10), their overall money line (-703) is less impressive. They have SU record of 6-4 and are unbeaten as the favorite (4-0) over their last 10 games. The Reds seem to play worse on offense against American League opponents. In those matchups, Cincinnati has only averaged 2.7 runs per game compared to its 4.0 season average. The Reds rank fifth in the majors in home runs with 79. The Reds are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with an MLB-high 66 steals. The most recent 10 game stretch for Cincinnati's pitching staff has gone great. Over that span, Cincinnati's opponents are averaging 3.2 runs per game, below their season average of 4.3.
Switching gears, the Tigers come into this game with a win percentage of .480 when playing as the underdog (12-13) and an overall money line of zero. Against NL opponents, they are 7-6 SU and 4-3 as the underdog. When it comes to scoring runs, the Tigers haven't performed as well against teams from the NL. During those games, they averaged three runs per game, below their 4.2 season average. One of the top road hitting teams in the AL are the Tigers, who average 9.3 hits in games away from home. The Tigers have racked up 52 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Playing competition from the NL really brings the best out of the Detroit pitchers. They allow 3.4 runs per game against teams in the NL, which is lower than their season average of 4.1.
In their previous three games this season, the Reds have a 2-1 record. This game will feature Verlander (RHP) on the mound against the Reds, who have a 21-26 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Leake will take the mound against the Tigers, who have a 24-25 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - DET, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, Detroit is 16-12, while Cincinnati is 11-16.
The Reds are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 13 strikeouts. The Tigers have a record of 0-2 when they are struck out that many times or more.
It looks like the Reds have a slight leg up on the Tigers, as the Reds have won their last two games while the Tigers have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 22-8. The Tigers have a 30-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 18th, Cincinnati is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 265 this season. Detroit ranks in the top half at 13th with 276.
Ranking 12th, Detroit is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 202 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 207.
When the Reds hit at least one home run, they are 26-18. When the Tigers hit at least one homer, they have a 24-11 record.