Cleveland (Carrasco) at Cincinnati (Garrett)
Recommendation: 1st 5 UNDER 4.5
The battle for Ohio features one of the biggest over teams in MLB with the Cincinnati Reds (26-16-2 O/U) hosting the under-prone Cleveland Indians (15-23-3 O/U). I advise leaving the bullpens out of the equation this evening and focus in on the starting pitching matchup.
Carlos Carrasco, the 30-year-old Venezuelan flame thrower, has put together an All-Star caliber year with a 2.60 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. His last outing was his worst to date as he allowed five earned runs. It was also his lowest pitch count of the season and he struck out six and gave up only two line drives and four fly balls. Facing the Reds' lineup for the first time this year, he's poised for a strong start.
Opposing Carrasco is the young lefty Amir Garrett who is also coming off a down start. The 6-5 rookie faces an Indians lineup that has really struggled against lefties this year (82 WRc). Garrett has also shown to be comfortable at home with 18 strikeouts and only six earned runs over three starts.
Temps are expected to mild with wind not a factor. Couple that with Cleveland losing a bat due to the NL venue and two starting pitchers with a favorable profile and we come up with a play on the first five innings UNDER 4.5 at a small plus price. .