Cincinnati Reds (25-23) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (28-18) MLB Betting Lines

Moneyline: Phillies (-100) Reds (+100)

Over/Under: 8

Starting Pitchers: Reds (Cueto) vs. Phillies (Worley)



The Cincinnati Reds are the streakiest team in the majors, and right now they are on a downward spiral. The Reds were swept by the Pirates and Indians last week, and they started this week out with a blowout loss in Philadelphia. The Phillies offense had been struggling in a big way, but last night they pushed ten runs across the plate. Chase Utley didn’t get a hit, but his return seemed to provide an emotional lift that this team needed.

Johnny Cueto has allowed just three earned runs in his three starts this year. Cueto is at his best when he is pounding the strike zone and getting ahead early in the count. The Reds offense has really slumped during this six-game losing streak. Joey Votto has cooled off a bit, but he is still batting .327 on the season. Jay Bruce has been absolutely on fire over the last week, but he has been just about the only Reds player hitting the ball. Bruce has four home runs in his last five games. Johnny Gomes is just 1 for his last 21 and he is now batting .171 in 2011. Paul Janish is in a 1 for 30 slump and his average is down to .227. The Reds offense that started the season so well has been terrible in the last week.

Chase Utley makes this Philadelphia Phillies offense much more dangerous. It might take Utley some time to get back into the groove, but he is one of the best hitters in the game when he is healthy. Shane Victorino is on the disabled list right now, but Raul Ibanez appears to be heating up. Placido Polanco is hitting .339 and he has been the team’s most consistent hitter so far this season. The Phillies have been winning largely because of their tremendous pitching staff. Lost in the shuffle is the fact that Ryan Madson has an amazing 0.47 ERA in the closer spot for the Phillies. Once they get everyone healthy, I do believe the Phillies will have the best team in baseball.

Vance Worley is young, but he isn’t a bad pitcher. The Phillies have beaten the Reds in eight straight games overall. I’ll take the Phillies to win this one.

MLB Free Pick: Phillies ML