The Arizona Diamondbacks will host the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday in the second game of their three-game series. These two teams met on Friday night but that game was still underway at the time of this prediction, with the Reds leading 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Reds tearing the cover off the ballThe Cincinnati Reds went 31-29 last season and advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Reds were swept in the National League Wild Card Series in two games, falling to the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in 13 innings in Game 1 and 5-0 in Game 2. The Cincinnati Reds entered the season with 35/1 odds to win the World Series and an over/under win total set at 81.5. The Reds have gotten off to a strong 5-1 start this season, heading into Friday night.
Nick Castellanos 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 sends a baseball into the left field seats. pic.twitter.com/8elvkeT6tC— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 6, 2021
The Reds lead all of MLB in most major offensive categories averaging 9.5 runs, a .316 team average, and 2.3 home runs per game. Several Reds players are off to sensational offensive starts. Jonathan India leads the team with a .476 batting average and has 10 RBI. Nick Castellanos is batting .435 with four home runs and seven RBI, and Tyler Naquin has been a great early season surprise batting .316 with four homers and 13 RBI. Mike Moustakas is batting .412 with three homers and 12 RBI.
Jeff Hoffman will get the start for the Reds on Saturday. He went 2-1 with a 9.28 ERA, 1.92 WHIP in 16 relief appearances, and 21 1/3 inning last season. This season, Hoffman allowed on earned run in five-inning in Cincinnati's 12-1 win over the Cardinals last Saturday. In Hoffman's career, he made 10 appearances against Arizona and has a 1-3 record with a 9.79 ERA and 2.03 ERA.
Diamondbacks off to tough startThe Arizona Diamondbacks went 25-35 last season, which was last in the NL West. Arizona is a big long shot at winning the World Series at 100/1; only the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates have more unlikely odds. The Diamondbacks over/under win total was set at 74.5.
The Diamondbacks are 19th with 3.6 runs per game and 21st with a .209 batting average. Leading the way is Ketel Marte, who is batting .462 with two home runs and five RBI on the season.
Taylor Widener is scheduled to make a start against the Reds on Saturday. Widener made his first-ever MLB start last Sunday and allowed three hits in six innings of shutout ball in a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Last season as a rookie, Widener had a 4.50 ERA and 0-1 record in 12 relief appearances. This will be his first time facing the Reds. As a team this season, the Diamondbacks are 25th in MLB, allowing 6.1 runs per game.
- Reds are 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Reds are 5-0 in their last 5 overall.
- Diamondbacks are 2-9 in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Diamondbacks are 0-7 in their last 7 Saturday games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I don't have full confidence in Jeff Hoffman pitching as well as he did in his 2021 debut this time around; however, the Reds bats are red-hot and should provide the necessary support. Cincinnati is averaging almost a full six runs more than the Diamondbacks per game this season and is out hitting them by more than .100 points in batting average. I'm going to ride with the Reds to get another win on Saturday.
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither scheduled starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman or Taylor Widener has a proven track record of success as a starter at the MLB level. Hoffman has also been terrible in his career against Arizona and posted an ERA north of nine last season. The Reds are the hottest offensive team in baseball and have played to the over in five of their first six games. I will take the over on Saturday.