Two teams that are coming off impressive three-game sweeps in interleague play will return to National League action on Friday night at Citi Field, but one holds a clear edge in the starting pitching matchup. Find out why Cincinnati deserves to be one of your MLB picks heading into the weekend.
Both offenses are running on all cylinders
Pick: Cincinnati Reds +115
Cincinnati outscored Cleveland by a combined score of 24-9 in securing a three-game home sweep heading into this NL series, while New York managed to plate 29 runs in winning three road games against Tampa Bay, who came into that set leading the American League in ERA. Reds first baseman Joey Votto is one of the hottest hitters in baseball, hitting .500 with four home runs and 14 RBIs over his last 11 contests. David Wright has been incredible at the plate in the middle of the Mets lineup, ranking fourth in the NL with a .358 batting average.
Arroyo thrives in the Big Apple
Sports bettors will find a nice underdog price for the Reds in the current MLB betting odds, considering Bronson Arroyo (2-4, 3.79 ERA) has been tremendous in three career starts at this ball park. He has compiled a perfect 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA in those outings, issuing just a single walk and striking out 14 in 25 combined frames. The right-hander has gotten the best of Wright in their careers, limiting him to eight hits in 35 at-bats (.229), with just a single home run and four RBIs.
Dillon Gee (4-4, 4.42 ERA) has done his best work on the road during the 2012 MLB season, but that won’t help him in trying to improve upon his 1-3 record and 4.91 ERA in seven home starts. The right-hander has surrendered seven home runs in 44 combined innings at Citi Field, which could be the deciding factor in this contest, as the Reds rank ninth in the majors with 72 round trippers. Gee will be making his first career appearance in this series.
Coming home from a nine-game road trip could prove troublesome
Both teams had to travel after playing afternoon games on Thursday, but the Mets have been known to fall flat in this situation. New York is 2-8 in its last 10 home games following a road trip of seven or more days, including losses in three of four games that fit this trend in 2012.
Battle of the bullpen clearly favors the Reds
You’re going to have a hard time finding a more lopsided statistic this weekend than the bullpen ERAs between the Cincinnati Reds (2.69) and New York Mets (5.46), ranking second and 30th respectively in the majors. It’s a factor that provides even more value in taking the underdog in this matchup.
The Reds will improve to 5-1 in Arroyo’s last six starts against NL East opponents, while the Mets will fall to 3-8 as a home favorite of -110 to -150.
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