Seattle (Iwakuma) -130 at Cincinnati (Straily) O/U 8.5
Cincinnati has been an Over machine, cashing only 14 Unders in their first 41 games. It’s easy to understand why – their pitching has been nothing short of awful. No starter has lasted past the sixth inning in the last two weeks, and Reds starters have lasted only 208.1 combined innings, the lowest number of innings pitched in MLB.
Poor starting pitching has led to an exhausted, overworked bullpen, a pen that ranks #29 in innings pitched this season. Reds relievers rank dead last in MLB with a 6.48 ERA, 88 walks and 34 home runs allowed. That bullpen has been severely tested and depleted in their last series against the Indians; forced to throw 19.2 innings over the four game set while allowing 20 runs in the process. All four of those games flew Over the total, by a combined 26 runs! And it’s surely worth noting that the Reds lineup is in solid current form, pounding out 25 runs over their last five games.
Seattle won’t lose Nelson Cruz’s big bat despite playing in an NL Park tonight, with Cruz expected to move from his usual DH spot into right field. And the Mariners have been swinging hot bats too, scoring 19 runs in their just concluded three game set at Baltimore. This isn’t new or different for Seattle – they’ve averaged 5.3 runs per game on the highway, but only 3.7 runs per game at pitcher friendly Safeco Field.
Reds starter Dan Straily had blister issues in his last start, never a good sign moving forward. Manager Bryan Price has been trying to string extra outs from Straily thanks to that bullpen ineffectiveness – the five year veteran has exceeded his previous pitch count career high twice in his last three starts. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma certainly hasn’t been throwing at an ace level this season – his strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and he’s not getting ground ball outs on a consistent basis.