By Hector Duran
The Cubs were smoked by the Reds and ended up losing 12-7. The Reds finally had more of their regular lineup and were able to produce runs. Nicholas Castellanos led the way with a grand slam and 2 guys who were out (Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel) with illness also went yard. Sonny Gray looked really sharp last night while going 6.2 innings allowing only 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 runs (both unearned), and striking out 11. For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks has struggled mightily at Great American Ballpark throughout his career so it should not be a surprise that he did not pitch well. The Cubs were down 9-0 at one point but were able to cut it to 9-5 and have a realistic chance of a comeback but they fell just short. The Cubs will look for tonight to win the series while the Reds will play for a split. It will be Yu Darvish vs Luis Castillo.
Moneyline: Cubs (-105); Reds (-115)
Runline: Cubs +1.5 (-190); Reds -1.5 (+165)
Total: 8.5; Over (-110); Under (-110)
First Pitch: 5:10pm CST; Great American Ballpark; Cincinnati, OH
Yu Darvish will make his second start of the season and he pitched okay against Milwaukee. He went only 4 innings but struck out 5 and did not issue any walks. His command has been an issue in the past where he would walk hitters or miss his spots resulting in runs scored. For the bats, they will have their hands full with Luis Castillo pitching. Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ, and Willson Contreras all have good numbers against Castillo so look for them to all get the start tonight. As for the bullpen, they have been shaky all series and I honestly do not see them getting it together; maybe for the weekend series against the Pirates, but not tonight.
The Reds were able to have more of their normal lineup and it paid dividends as they were able to put up some runs on the scoreboard. Luis Castillo will get the ball and he too will be making his second start of the season. The hard throwing right hander is a huge part in the success of the team and can get a lot of strikeouts. Aristedes Aquino has had good success against Darvish so look for him to be slotted in Left Field.
Analysis and Best Bet
Both teams have been swinging hot bats and the bullpens for both teams have been iffy in this series. I am going to take the over of 8.5 runs at -110. The Reds finally have the lineup that they expected going into this season and they have proven that they can score runs by the bunches. I do think that Darvish will struggle tonight and the Reds will be able to score some runs. With Great American Ballpark being so hitter friendly, it is foreseeable that a lot of runs will be had tonight.