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[6:40 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 – Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds
PHI: Aaron Nola – R (12-4, 3.45 ERA/1.21 WHIP)
CIN: Trevor Bauer – R (10-12, 4.53 ERA/1.29 WHIP)
The Phillies missed a golden opportunity to inch closer to the Cubs over the weekend, but they’ve won three straight games now to at least keep pace. While the Reds have fallen out of the playoff race, there is some motivation to not get completely clobbered in this series – tomorrow afternoon is the series finale. The over has seen plenty of bets early on for tonight’s total, but there might be a few reasons why that’s the wrong move.
We’re going with the under of 8.5 runs for the SpreadKnowledge MLB Free Pick of the Day.
Aaron Nola has stayed true to form as one of the best pitchers in baseball, allowing three runs or fewer in all six of his starts since the beginning of August. This is the time when Philly needs him most, as they try and make this last-month push towards the playoffs. As for Nola against Cincy, this is a matchup that has worked well before, considering its current roster owns a .171 batting average and four extra-base hits against him 82 career plate appearances.
The trade for Trevor Bauer to Cincy certainly hasn’t been one the team can be happy about. However, there’s something about Great American Ballpark that’s sitting well with him this season – even as a member of the Reds. In three starts there this season, Bauer owns a 2-1 record and 1.71 ERA/0.86 WHIP while striking out 31 batters – a span of 21 innings.
While Bauer’s numbers with the Reds aren’t great, it’s hard to ignore the success he’s had at Great American Ballpark this season. Nola is on top of his game and the Reds have only scored three runs in the first two games of this series.
We’ve had pre-game double-digit totals in the first two games of this series, and both games fell exactly at eight runs. So, with the 8.5-run total in tonight’s game, we’re going to see it fall just short of that number once again.
* Final Score Prediction * Philadelphia Phillies: 4 – Cincinnati Reds: 2