The Cincinnati Reds remain on the West Coast, as they play game two of their series with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday evening. The Reds, who opened the season by winning five out of six at home, lost two of their first three games of their current road trip to the Arizona Diamondbacks before heading to San Francisco. The Giants, on the other hand, began their homestand with a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies by a combined score of 11-4. This preview was written before the conclusion of the first game of the series on Monday evening.
Reds' bats look to regain earlier form against GiantsThe Cincinnati Reds were one of the hottest teams in baseball through the first week of the season, as they averaged 9.5 runs per game in their 5-1 opening homestand. Things did not go as well in Arizona, as they were outscored 20-9 in the three games against the Diamondbacks, losing the last two
“We just got beat the last two days," shortstopKyle Farmer said on Cincinnati.com after the Arizona series. "There’s a lot of baseball left. Our lineup is still solid.I’d put our lineup against anybody any day of the week.”
The Reds entered Monday's action in first place in the National League Central. After hitting .316 as a team in their first six games of the season with a .997 OPS, Cincinnati cooled off versus Arizona, as they hit just .238 and had a .651 OPS in their first three road contests. The Reds have hit 16 home runs this season (through Sunday), 14 of which came at home in their first six games. Jonathan India leads the team in batting this season with a .379 batting average and he is fourth in the Majors with 11 RBI. Tyler Naquin is tied for the Major League lead in home runs with five, while he is second in RBI with 14. Cincinnati was batting .289 coming into Monday's action. Tucker Barnhart (.471) and Nick Senzel (.444) are both hitting over .400 in the Reds last six games.
Luis Castillo goes to the mound for Cincinnati on Tuesday night. He will be making his third start of the season. He was the opening day starter for the Reds in a game that he would like to forget. Castillo gave up 10 runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals to get handed the loss. He bounced back nicely in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitching seven scoreless innings, as he gave up just four hits. Overall, Castillo is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA. He has faced the Giants three previous times in his career, going 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 19.2 innings. Giants' batters have just four hits in 31 career at bats (.129) versus Castillo with two home runs.
Giants looking to gain on first placeThe San Francisco Giants entered action on Monday night in third place in the National League West, 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants won four straight games heading into Monday nights series opener with Cincinnati. San Francisco has won two straight series, winning two of three in San Diego before their three-game sweep over Colorado. The Giants have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, as they have a 2.70 team ERA and a 1.16 WHIP (through Sunday's games). They have been even better in their last six games, as they have a 1.83 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. San Francisco has just a .204 batting average with 14 home runs. Evan Longoria is hitting .333 with three home runs and seven RBI to lead the Giants' offense. Donovan Solano is hitting .321 this season. San Francisco has scored just 31 runs in their first nine games of the season.
Kevin Gausman gets the starting assignment for the Giants on Tuesday. In both of his starts this season, San Francisco has gone to extra innings, giving Gausman a no-decision in both games. He has given up just two runs in 13.2 innings pitched for a 1.32 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. This is Gausman's fourth start in his career against the Reds. He is 0-3 with a 12.79 ERA in those three previous starts. Gausman has given up 18 runs in 12.2 innings versus Cincinnati. The current Reds players have a .357 batting average against Gausman in their careers with five home runs.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the best offensive teams in the first week-and-a-half of the season (7.33 runs per game), while the San Francisco Giants have had one of the best pitching staffs (2.89 runs given up per game) in baseball. However, the Giants are also one of the worst offensive teams in MLB. They are ranked 24th in runs scored per game (3.44) and 27th in hits per game (6.56). The Reds' Castillo is coming off a solid seven-inning performance in his last outing, and he has dominated the Giants in his three starts against them in his career. The Giants' Gausman, on the other hand, has been awful against Cincinnati in his three career starts against them. Between Gausman's lack of success against the Reds, and San Francisco's inept offense, Cincinnati will come away with the victory on Tuesday.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cincinnati Reds have averaged over seven runs per game in their first nine games of the season. They have hit the ball very well in their careers against Gausman, so look for the Reds' bats to get back to their early-season success on Tuesday. Cincinnati is also giving up over five runs per game this season. The total has gone over in seven of the Reds' first nine games of the season. These two teams have played a lot of high-scoring games in their last 10 meetings, as the average runs scored has been 11.4 runs per game in their last 10 matchups (before Monday's game). Eight of Cincinnati's first nine games have had at least eight total runs scored, so look for the total to go over in this one.