Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati (Arroyo) vs. New York (Pettitte)
Date/Time: May 18, 7:05 PM EST
Television: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds from 5Dimes
Moneyline: New York (-130) Cincinnati (+120)
Interleague play kicks off for the season this Friday evening. Some baseball purists still aren’t thrilled with the interleague matchups, but these games have really helped baseball’s popularity over the last few years. Cincinnati just got finished playing the Mets, and they’ll stay in New York to take on the Yankees in a three-game series. These two teams come into this one with nearly identical records on the season.
The Reds appeared to be on their way to a two-game sweep of the Mets yesterday before the wheels fell off late in the game. The Reds bullpen that came into yesterday’s game with some of the best numbers in the league was smashed and the Reds lost 9-4. Cincinnati has been up and down so far this year, largely due to the fact that their offense hasn’t produced the way many expected. Joey Votto has been red hot of late, and he leads the team with a .317 batting average. Jay Bruce leads the team with ten homers. Drew Stubbs, Brandon Phillips, and Ryan Ludwick have all disappointed so far this year.
Bronson Arroyo will start for the Reds in this one. Arroyo had a bad year in 2011, but he has a solid 3.25 ERA this year. Arroyo has allowed just five free passes all season. The Reds are ninth in the majors in team ERA at 3.48.
Andy Pettitte will make his second start since his return to the team. Pettitte was shaky in his first outing against the Mariners last weekend. The team isn’t expecting Pettitte to go out and dominate, but they do need him to eat up innings and give them some quality starts. New York’s team ERA is 4.23.
The Yankees offense has been good overall this year, but they are slumping in a big way right now. Derek Jeter has been awesome in 2012, and he leads the team with a .363 average. Curtis Granderson has bashed 13 home runs, and the Yankees are third in the majors in homers. Robinson Cano has heated up of late, but Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira are both in a major slump. The Yankees have scored two or less runs in four of their last five games. The offense has to pick it back up if this team expects to win the difficult AL East.
The Reds are 6-1 in their last 7 games following a loss. Cincinnati is 5-2 in their last 7 as a road underdog.
The Yankees are 24-6 in their last 30 games against the NL Central. New York is 7-1 in Pettitte’s last 8 Interleague starts.
The under is 5-0 in the Yankees last 5 Interleague games. The under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings between these teams.
MLB Free Pick: Reds ML
Pettitte isn’t back to form yet, and the Reds offense is better than they have shown. I like the value on the Reds.