Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#951 Cincinnati Reds -155 vs.
#952 Detroit Tigers 9
Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 6:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interleague battle on the diamond as a pair of teams do battle in the Motor City. The Cincinnati Reds are on the road for the middle game of their three-game set with the Detroit Tigers Saturday evening. Cincinnati dropped two of three to the Cubs at home earlier this week, prevailing 12-7 in the most recent contest Wednesday. The teams were slated to meet Thursday but the game was postponed by rain. Detroit split a four-game set with Kansas City as they were defeated 5-3 Thursday night at home. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw Luis Castillo get the call for the Reds against the Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull. First pitch for the contest was scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.

The Tigers won the first matchup 7-2 on Friday night, with Turnbull picking up his first win.

Reds Looking to Live Up to Preseason Hype

Cincinnati was hyped as the potential team to beat in the NL Central but it’s been a bit of a bumpy road for them so far. The Reds had dropped four of their first five games on the year before besting the Cubs on Wednesday night. On Wednesday, the team rode three homers and a seven-run fifth inning to take control en route to the victory. Mike Moustakas (his second), Nick Castellanos (his second, a grand slam) and Nick Senzel (his first) all went deep in the win. That was more than enough for Sonny Gray (2-0), who turned in a dominant start. He allowed two runs (none earned) on one hit with one walk and 11 strikeouts over 6.1 innings. The bullpen sputtered but the offense gave them enough of a lead to get by with the victory.

Trevor Bauer is on the mound for the Reds in this one for his second start of the season. He comes in with no record, a 1.42 ERA, 0.474 WHIP, one walk and 13 strikeouts on the young season. Bauer didn’t factor in the decision in his first start of the year, which came against the Tigers at home on Sunday. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and 13 strikeouts in a game the Reds eventually dropped 3-2. Having spent most of his career with Cleveland, Bauer has plenty of familiarity with the Tigers. This marks his 22nd career start against them: he has a 10-6 record with a 5.11 ERA, a 1.462 WHIP, 40 walks and 135 strikeouts over 119.2 innings of work in those outings. Bauer is 5-2 with a 3.31 ERA, a 1.184 WHIP, 10 walks and 52 strikeouts over 49 innings in eight career appearances, seven starts, at Comerica Park.

Detroit Tigers Hope to Maintain Early Momentum

After seven games, the Tigers have a winning record, even after losing to Kansas City Thursday night. While that doesn’t seem like much, remember that Detroit was 47-114 last year and won 64 games in both 2017 and 2018 so that’s something to lean on right now. Against the Royals Thursday, the Tigers got three solo homers but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Miguel Cabrera (two runs, two RBI) and Cameron Maybin each had two hits in the game. Cabrera (his second and third of the season) homered twice while Jonathan Schoop (his third) also went deep in the loss. Ivan Nova didn’t factor in the decision as he threw 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Jose Cisnero (1-1) took the loss in relief as he allowed one run on one hit with no walks and two strikeouts in his one inning of work.

Michael Fulmer is projected to make his second start of the season in a bit of an opener role as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He comes in with no record, a 13.50 ERA, a 2.25 WHIP, one walk and two strikeouts on the season. Fulmer didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Monday at home against the Royals. He allowed four runs on five hits, including three homers, with one walk and two strikeouts over 2.2 innings in a game the Tigers eventually dropped 14-6. Fulmer lost his lone career start against the Reds, which came on the road on June 20, 2018. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in a 5-3 Detroit loss. Fulmer is 10-13 with a 3.58 ERA, a 1.115 WHIP, 55 walks and 161 strikeouts over 226 innings of work in his 36 career starts at Comerica Park.

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While the Tigers have a winning record entering Friday, there are alarming numbers to take into consideration. Detroit has a collective 5.52 ERA, which ranks 25th in the majors, and has no quality starts from their rotation. Offensively, they are hitting a measly .205 and more than half (15) of their total runs (28) this season have come from someone scoring after hitting a homer. Yes, the Tigers lead the AL with 15 long balls but they aren’t driving anyone else in with consistency. Bauer dominated Detroit Sunday in his first start of the year and look for more of the same in this one as the Reds come up with the victory.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

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This one may be a bit of a gamble given how well Bauer pitched against the Tigers in his first start but taking a deeper look at his numbers against Detroit shows that there is potential for a bit of a fizzle. He has an ERA over five in his career against the Tigers over the span of 119.2 innings of work. In addition, even when he turned in a solid outing in his first start, the bullpen gave up a pair of runs in the ninth and lost the game. Fulmer was tagged for three homers in his debut and the Tigers' pitching staff has been atrocious this season, despite the 4-3 record. Cincinnati got three homers in Wednesday's win and started to show signs of life offensively after a slow start to the year. That's enough to help push this one over the mark despite Bauer.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.