Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians
Betting Prediction: Reds +144 odds (May 16th 2016)
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The Cincinnati Reds, with their merry band of pyromaniacs in the bullpen, are a tough team to back especially on the road with a 3-12 mark. But this is a good value spot for the Reds in this interleague matchup against in-state rival Cleveland. The .500 Indians are nothing special and have Cody Anderson starting.
It’s not exactly a coincidence that Cleveland has lost every time Anderson has appeared in a game this season. That mark is 0-6. Anderson’s ERA stands at 7.31. He was last seen this past Wednesday in relief giving up a walk-off two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez during a 16-inning loss to Houston. That kept Anderson’s string of allowing at least one home run in every game he’s pitched this year.
Anderson was more than decent as a rookie last season going 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA. Opponents have adjusted. Anderson hasn’t. A trip to the minors hasn’t seemed to cure his problems. Anderson has been terrible, too, during interleague action with an 0-2 mark and 5.49 ERA in four career starts. He’s made one interleague start this season. That didn’t go well either as the Mets ripped him for five runs on nine hits, including three homers, in 4 2/3 innings on April 15.
Cincinnati starter John Lamb is intriguing. Back in 2010, Lamb was Kansas City’s top pitching prospect. His career, though, was set back by Tommy John surgery. He was part of the Reds’ haul when they traded Johnny Cueto to the Royals last year. Lamb pitched less than 50 inning for the Reds going 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA. He also had 58 strikeouts, though.
The high strikeout number and Lamb being a lefty in the National League make him someone worth monitoring. So after seeing Lamb post a 1.80 ERA in his first two starts after being activated earlier this month following off-season back surgery, I went all in on the 25-year-old picking him up in both of my National League Rotisserie leagues. (Yes, I play Rotisserie not fantasy baseball).
Certainly there is a wild-card element to Lamb especially since he last pitched eight days ago after spraining his left thumb. The injury was minor and Lamb is fully cleared to pitch today. The Indians are the first American League team to face Lamb.
The Indians just lost Michael Brantley again. He was placed on the DL with shoulder inflammation. The Indians are below average in scoring and rank third-from-the-bottom in home runs. So Lamb isn’t exactly going against the ’27 Yankees.
Cleveland last went against a southpaw starter on April 29. The Indians are 3-6 versus lefties this year. If you discount the Indians’ performance against White Sox southpaw John Danks, who has since been released and is a free agent, Cleveland has scored 19 runs in eight games versus lefty starters. That’s an average of 2.3 runs a game.