Carlos Carrasco (4-4, 4.98 ERA) and Mike Leake (2-2, 3.62 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Cleveland Indians (17-23) and the Cincinnati Reds (18-22) at Progressive Field. The Reds come into this series in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 22 and can be seen on FSN-OH and STO.
Carrasco is 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in his appearances against the Reds, but goes up against a below-average Cincinnati offense which is batting just .238 this season. Michael Brantley (.328, 20 Rs, 4 HRs, 26 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI. Against the Indians, Leake is 1-0 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 25 strikeouts. Todd Frazier (.252, 26 Rs, 12 HRs, 23 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday.
Cleveland is a -139 favorite against Cincinnati and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Indians have recorded an overall money line of -1,068 and have shown a weak performance as a favorite this season with a record of 9-14. Against the NL, they have a 1-1 record when they were the favorite and 1-2 SU. The Indians have seen a decline in scoring against teams in the NL, averaging 2.0 runs per game. They average 4.3 runs per game on the season. Cleveland leads the whole AL in walks, earning an average of 3.6 per game. Cleveland's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 3.4 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.7. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who lead the AL in strikeouts per game with 9.6.
In the other locker room, Cincinnati is coming in with an overall money line of -397 and a disappointing record of 8-15 as the underdog. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-5 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Reds have really sputtered in interleague games. They have decreased their season average of 3.9 runs per game by averaging 3.2 in those contests. The Reds are an excellent base-stealing team with an MLB-best 43 stolen bases. The Reds allow 4.5 runs per game, but does worse whenever an AL opponent is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 5.2 against teams from the AL.
The Indians have a 10-13 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Leake takes the mound. Carrasco (RHP) will be on the hill against the Reds, who have a 14-16 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, Cleveland is 6-9, while Cincinnati is 6-10.
The Indians are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 11 strikeouts. The Reds have a record of 2-4 when they are struck out that many times or more.
It looks like the Indians have a slight leg up on the Reds, as the Indians have won their last three games while the Reds have lost their last five.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 11-4. The Indians have a 14-3 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 24th, Cincinnati sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 154 this season. Cleveland ranks in the top half at 14th with 172.
Ranking 10th, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 134 this season. Cleveland ranks in the top five at second with 148.
The Indians are 14-11 when they hit at least one home run. The Reds perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 16-11 record.