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#921 Cincinnati Reds 9 vs.
#922 Cleveland Indians -130
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: June 12, 2019, Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH, 1:10 PM ET

The Cincinnati Reds close out a two-game pit stop at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Indians in Wednesday’s interleague MLB action. Since defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, the struggling Reds dropped a three-game series to the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, the Indians are soaring with monumental wins over the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. Zach Plesac will try to keep the momentum going when he starts on the mound for the Indians against Minnesota’s Anthony DeSclafani.

Reds put an end to three-game losing streak

Six-time MLB All-Star Joey Votto liked the fight his team showed against the Phillies when they were in danger of being swept in Philadelphia. The only hope for the ball club is to show that same kind of resistance more often to put an end to the perennial losing, which tends to weigh heavily on a team that hasn’t had a winning season in the last six years.

“You’ve got to stop the bleeding at some point,” Votto said, via Cincinnati.com. “I think that was really important for us to continue to remind ourselves, hey, we’re a legitimate team and we can be competitive and we’re going to stay in this.”

The Reds don’t have a long way to go to prove their legitimacy with them currently sitting in last place but only one win out from tying the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record in the NL Central. They came into the series finale against the Phillies having only scored 11 runs so far in the month of June, despite every other ball club scoring 17-plus runs. While it isn’t impossible to remain competitive, the Reds have their work cut out for them moving forward.

DeSclafani gets the start on Wednesday afternoon for his 13th game of the season. He’ll step on the mound with a 4.70 ERA and a 2-3 record. In his recent showing against the Cardinals, he only gave up one earned run in five innings on the mound, which was a huge improvement over the four runs he gave up in three straight games against the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.

Indians remain a walking question mark

Few expected the Twins to push the Indians in the AL Central division this season. Not only are they pushing the Indians, but they are blowing them and the rest of the division away with a surprisingly spectacular year. Meanwhile, the Indians sit in second place dealing with more questions than answers. When will Corey Kluber return? What about Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco?

The Carrasco situation is especially concerning considering he is dealing with a blood condition that supersedes the importance of a baseball game. He is out indefinitely with no timetable for a return.

The pitching rotation is thinning in Cleveland, and they are as vulnerable as ever on defense, putting even more pressure on their struggling offense to pick up the slack. It isn’t a good situation for the Indians in the long run, even though they’ve made due in recent wins over the Yankees and Twins.

They’ll be forced to go with inexperience on Wednesday with Plesac being named the starter. The 24-year-old righty has played in only three games in the big leagues, but he did deliver solid showings in each of those performances. He most recently helped the Indians dust off the Yankees by holding their batting lineup to six hits and two earned runs, while striking out five batters in seven innings. In three appearances, his ERA currently sits at 1.86 with a 0.88 WHIP, which is a promising start for such a young player.

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After surviving a pair of monstrous slugging teams in the Twins and Yankees, the Indians defense will have a much easier time dealing with the Reds’ troublesome batting lineup. Not to mention it’ll also be one of the easiest match-ups on paper Plesac has faced so far this season. The Reds are slashing .233/.302/.400 and averaging only 2.33 runs in their last three outings. That means this will be mostly a defensive game and low-scoring battle of attrition, which fits the Indians’ play style.

The game will also be taking place on the road, where the Reds are 14-20 this season. While the Reds have managed to avoid getting swept in their series losses to the Nationals and Phillies, they were still thoroughly outplayed by both opponents. The Indians have at least shown signs of offensive life in their recent run, and they’ll put tremendous pressure on the Reds to answer on the road.

There isn’t much firepower in the Indians’ batting lineup, but there’s certainly more than the Reds will have on Wednesday afternoon. I like the Indians to get ahead early and keep the lead throughout, while the Reds continue to flounder on offense. Give me the Indians to take the closeout game.

Prediction: Cleveland Indians

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Say what you want about these two ball clubs offensively, but they still have two of the best run-scoring defenses in baseball. This will be a defensive game where both offenses struggle to put points on the board. The Reds in particular have been the worst run-scoring offense this month. I believe the Indians get off to an early lead, but their performance won’t be splashy enough to cover the over alone. I like the under in this betting total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.