Williamson, Kelly Set for Thursday’s Series Opener
Two of the surprise additions to the National League playoff race are set to meet up with the Reds vs Diamondbacks preview favoring the Diamondbacks in the series opener.
The Reds went into the season with an expected win total of 65.5 and they have already topped that number. Arizona’s expectations were a little higher with a 75.5 expected win total and the Diamondbacks are well on their way to topping that mark.
Cincinnati and Arizona are among a large number of teams fighting it out for one of the final two playoff spots in the National League. Cincinnati, one of the best road teams in baseball, took over the third and final wild-card spot in the National League after sweeping a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels. The Diamondbacks are just one game back in the win column.
The Diamondbacks take a four-game winning streak into the series opener with the Reds on a three-game winning streak.
When the teams met in July, host Cincinnati won all three games and outscored the Diamondbacks 20-12.
When looking at the National League baseball standings, Cincinnati is second among National League teams with 36 road wins while Arizona is 32-31 at home so far this season.
Arizona is priced at +8000 and Cincinnati comes in at +10000 in the odds to win the World Series.
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
Streaming: Bally Sports Ohio, Arizona Diamondbacks Network (Thursday’s game also on FS1).
Probable Starting Pitchers
- Thursday: Brandon Williamson (Reds) vs Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks)
- Friday: Brett Kennedy (Reds) vs Brandon Pfaadt (Diamondbacks)
- Saturday: Hunter Greene (Reds) vs Zach Davies (Diamondbacks)
- Sunday: Graham Ashcraft (Reds) vs Slade Cecconi (Diamondbacks)
Turning On the Power
In the three games against Arizona this season, 10 of Cincinnati’s hits have gone for extra bases. Keep that in mind when it comes to the Reds vs Diamondbacks preview.
Matt McLain has two of Cincinnati’s six home runs. McLain, Spencer Speer and T.J. Friedl are all hitting .400 or better against the Diamondbacks.
That is nothing new as the Reds had 16 doubles and nine home runs versus Arizona pitching in seven games during the 2022 MLB season.
Walker Delivering The Hits
The 32-year-old Christian Walker has already established a career-high with 34 doubles and he is approaching his career-best marks for home runs and RBIs. A quick look at the MLB player stats, his 84 RBIs rank in the top 10 in the National League.
Walker had a stretch with five home runs in five games. However, since hitting a pair of home runs against Colorado on Aug. 16, his last five hits have been singles.
Both of his hits in the three games against Cincinnati were doubles and that could play a role in the Reds vs Diamondbacks preview.
- Fernando Cruz, Cincinnati Reds P: Cruz has allowed three hits and no runs in 6.2 innings over his last six appearances.
- Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds IF: De La Cruz had six RBIs in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. It was his fifth multi-hit effort in a span of 11 games.
- Gabriel Moreno, Arizona Diamondbacks C: Moreno is batting .310 with five runs and eight RBIs in his last eight games.
- Brandon Pfaadt, Arizona Diamondbacks P: Pfaadt allowed one hit and no runs in seven innings in his last start to lower his ERA in August to 2.96.
- Miguel Castro, Arizona Diamondbacks P: Castro has given up seven hits and eight runs over 2.2 innings in his last four appearances.
- Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds P: Greene surrendered 10 hits, five home runs and nine runs in three innings in his first start since mid-June.
- Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks 2B: Marte is 3-for-18 with eight strikeouts in his last six games.
- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds 1B: Votto is 1-for-17 with four strikeouts in his last five games.
Reds vs Diamondbacks Injury Update
Second baseman Jonathan India, shortstop Kevin Newman and outfielder Jake Fraley are on the injured list for the Reds.
For the Diamondbacks, Davies is set to come off the injured list in time to make his scheduled start on Saturday. Relief pitcher Mark Melancon could return in early September.
Reds vs Diamondbacks Betting Preview
Five of the eight probable pitchers in the series are 25 or younger so that could make for some unpredictable MLB matchups.
The Diamondbacks are 7-1 over the last eight games with the Reds winning five of their last six games on the road.
When looking at the MLB team stats, Cincinnati leads the majors with 145 stolen bases this season.
The total has gone under in 13 of the last 18 games played by the Reds.
Cincinnati and Arizona are 51-35 this season when listed as the favorite and 76-83 as the underdog.
The Reds lead the majors with a record of 81-47 against the run line with the Diamondbacks ranking sixth with a mark of 69-58.
The Reds have covered in 41 of 62 road games in 2023 with the Diamondbacks 32-31 against the spread at home.
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