When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
Odds Takem from DraftKings Sportsbooks
Check out the best betting bonuses and promo codes for MLB, here!
One of the most exciting and unique matchups of this weekend is set with the energized Cincinnati Red (34-35) going on the three-game series versus a highly efficient Houston Astros (39-30) in a cross-conference matchup. This is a matchup that is going to define the direction of the two teams for the remainder of the first half of the season. This will be one of the biggest series to place bets on going into the weekend.
Both teams are not comparable when it comes to the overall efficiency at the plate. The Astros have been efficient throughout the season at the plate, but are missing their top batter. The Reds started the season in rough shape at the batting plate. Their season has taken a huge boost of productivity to the rise of rookie third baseman Elly De La Cruz.
The Reds are currently ranked fifth in the AL in runs accounted for (323), sixth in hits accounted for (592), first in stolen bases (70), fourth in walks accounted for (245), seventh in batting average (.254) and second in on-base percentage (.331). They have four players that have accounted for a batting average of .265. Five players on the roster have accounted for an on-base percentage of .350.
Since putting Cruz to the Major Leagues from the Minor Leagues, the Reds have seen their batting game played more consistently. The Reds have averaged 5.5 runs per game in the last nine games. They are also 7-2 in the nine games that Cruz has been a significant factor in their gameplan which includes winning two of the three games versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning two of three games at the St. Louis Cardinals and sweeping the Kansas City Royals on the road.
In his nine games, Cruz has been highly reliable at the plate by accounting for eight runs, eight hits, one home run, four RBIs, five stolen bases, six walks, 15 strikeouts, a batting average of .235, an on-base percentage of .350 and a slugging percentage of .412.
The Astros have been consistent at the plate this season, but they are far from the explosive batting they were last season. Houston ranks eighth in the AL in runs accounted for (310), seventh in hits accounted for (571), eighth in home runs accounted for (78), fifth in fewest strikeouts accounted for (565), seventh in batting average (.246) and seventh in on-base percentage (.315).
The Astros have five players with a batting average of .250 and six players who have accumulated at least 59 hits this season. Houston is going into the series against Cincinnati without their top batter designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who is set to miss at least four weeks due to an oblique injury.
The Astros are having to rely on rightfielder Kyle Tucker, second baseman Mauricio Dubon and shortstop Jeremy Pena to pick up the slack at the plate for the missing Alvarez. Dubon is the more consistent hitter, Tucker is a player that can efficiently get on base and Pena is the more assertive power-hitter.
The over/under of the first game of the weekend is set at nine runs which is one of seven games of out of the 13 total games where the line is set at nine total runs. If this series was played last month, it would be a clear indication that the Astros would be the favorite to win two of the three games. Since the emergence of Cruz as one of the top rookies of the 2023 MLB Season and Alvarez going out, the series is wide-open.
The Astros are by far the more talented pitching team than the Reds. Houston ranks first in the AL in ERA (3.24) as well as first fewest runs allowed (222) and fourth in strikeouts accounted for (643). The Reds are ranked 14th in ERA (4.96), 13th in hits allowed for (632), 14th in runs allowed for (553), but fifth in strikeouts accounted for (600).
In Saturday’s game, the Reds will have their ace pitcher Hunter Greene (4.01 ERA in 67.1 innings pitched) set to start, while the Astros will have Hunter Greene (4.01 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched) starting. While Greene has allowed only 20 runs, he has only 34 strikeouts, which is significantly lower than the other starting pitchers for the Astros.
On Sunday, the Reds will go with Luke Weaver (6.23 ERA in 52 innings pitched) to start at the mound, while the Astros will go with their rookie Hunter Brown (3.35 ERA in 75.1 innings pitched) to start and end the series.
While on paper, the Reds and Astros are even in their pitching lineups on Saturday, Cincinnati’s Greene is the more experienced and most reliable at the mound. Outside of experience in the league, Houston’s Brown is the more effective pitcher of the matchup on Sunday.
TJ Friedl (.321)
Mauricio Dubon (.295)
Spencer Steer (9)
Yordan Alvarez (17)
Jake Fraley (38)
Yordan Alvarez (55)
TJ Friedl (.370)
Yordan Alvarez (.388)
Jonathan India (73)
Kyle Tucker (68)
Ian Gibaut (6)
Cristian Javier (7)
Alexis Diaz (1.61)
Hector Neris (1.29)
Hunter Greene (97)
Framber Valdez (95)
Free play options
Special contests for newbies
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets
21+ | Terms and conditions apply
Wide range of betting options
Top notch customer service
Promo Code 'SPORTS'
$500 Free Bet
21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.