MLB plays of the day: Castillo to help Reds to series split with Cubs
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We were an Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen implosion away from a clean sweep Wednesday night, instead having to settle for 2-1.

Let's complete the sweep Thursday.

Chicago Cubs (-105) @ Cincinnati Reds (-115)

Starting pitchers: Yu Darvish vs. Luis Castillo

As always seems to be the case, a lot of buzz surrounded Darvish coming into the season. He gets a lot of love from bettors, resulting in him often being overpriced in the market. But due to his erratic performances, reality doesn't always match expectations.

Darvish lacked sharpness in his first outing - a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers - and I'm not expecting him to get on track here either. In five starts against the Reds last season, he had a 4.63 ERA in 31 1/3 innings, and that was against an ineffective lineup that has since added Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, among others.

Conversely, Castillo - who I've pegged for a breakout campaign - was really strong against the Cubs last season, posting a 3.24 ERA against them across 25 innings. He owns great splits against the key pieces of their lineup as well, with Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber combining to go 8-for-43 against Castillo in 2019.

Pick: Reds (-115)

New York Yankees (-245) @ Baltimore Orioles (+195)

Starting pitchers: J.A. Happ vs. John Means

They can't make a total high enough for this game. A pair of southpaws take the mound at Camden Yards on Thursday, with Happ and Means both making their season debuts. Happ tweaked his delivery this offseason following the worst statistical campaign of his career; he struggled to cope with the juiced ball, surrendering an absurd HR/9 rate of 1.90. The ball hasn't been changed for this season, and at nearly 38 years old, I don't expect a major bounce-back from Happ.

He struggled mightily against the Orioles last season, allowing 17 runs in 22 1/3 innings across five starts. Baltimore staples Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez, and Dwight Smith Jr. went a combined 16-for-29 against Happ with four home runs.

That will result in plenty of run support for Means, and he'll need it. The 27-year-old has a nasty changeup and is a very promising pitcher, but in his 2019 rookie campaign, his two starts against the Yankees were nightmares - he allowed 10 runs in 7 1/3 innings. Given the way the Yankees are hitting the ball, don't expect a different fate for Means in a game that should see plenty of offense right out of the gate.

Pick: Over 6 first five innings (-115), over 10.5 full game (-115)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

MLB plays of the day: Castillo to help Reds to series split with Cubs
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