MLB Thursday best bets: Reds to rebound vs. Cubs in Field of Dreams game
We have only two contests on Thursday's night schedule, as MLB wants the focus to be on the Field of Dreams game. Luckily, there is value to be had in each one.
Let's take a closer look.
Coors Field games aside, it's not often you see totals in double digits these days, let alone contests you'd want to back an over in. It could be worth making an exception here.
There might not be a worse pitching matchup on Thursday's entire slate. Josh Winckowski has endured a miserable last month, posting a 6.55 FIP and allowing nearly 2.40 homers per nine innings in that time.
He has a low strikeout rate, which allows opposing hitters to put the ball in play. Hitters are often generating hard contact as well, which is clearly a recipe for disaster.
For all their faults, the Boston Red Sox hit righties well, especially on home soil. They sit 16th in wOBA and seventh in ISO at home since July 1. Meanwhile, the Orioles have hit right-handed pitching very well regardless of the park. They're eighth in wOBA over the same period.
With two struggling, home run-prone pitchers on the mound and competent offenses in a hitter-friendly park, this game has real potential for fireworks.
Bet: Over 10 (-105)
I like their chances of rebounding under the lights against the Chicago Cubs.
He should continue piling them up against a Cubs team that struggles mightily against left-handed pitching. They have a .264 wOBA (28th) and 27.7 K% (fourth highest) versus lefties since the beginning of July.
Chicago's struggles against lefties are nothing new; they're 11-20 on the year.
Considering Lodolo's strikeout prowess and respectable 4.34 ERA despite an unsustainably high .349 BABIP over the last month, the Reds look to be in good hands.
Cincinnati's offense is also in a solid spot. The Reds are 15th in wOBA versus all lefties since July 1. They've hit southpaws well all season long; they're only six games under .500 when facing left-handed starters.
None of Thursday's projected starters have allowed fly balls at a higher rate than Smyly in the past 30 days. He has also given up hard contact at roughly a 10% higher clip than Lodolo over that span.
The Reds should be able to grind out a win here.
Bet: Reds (-115)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.