When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
The National League Wild Card race is as tight as can be, with four teams separated by a half-game from positions two through four in the standings. Two of those teams are the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks, who start a massive four-game series on Thursday night. The winner of this series will give themselves a huge leg up in the Wild Card chase, starting with this Thursday night contest.
The Cincinnati Reds have won three games in a row coming into Thursday’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They took three straight games from the Los Angeles Angels, and ended the pitching season of Shohei Ohtani in the process. Now, the Reds will look to hold onto one of the three NL Wild Card places with a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road.
Brandon Williamson is on the mound for the Reds to start this game, and to start one of the biggest series of the year for Cincinnati. Williamson enters this contest with a record of 4-3 and an ERA of 4.47. So far this year, Williamson is 2-1 on the road, and has a slightly better record away from Great American Ballpark than he has at his home stadium. That could make a huge difference for the Reds in this game.
Also making a huge difference for the Reds of late is their bullpen, which stepped up during their sweep of the Angels. Cincinnati allowed a total of 10 runs in those three games in Anaheim, a pleasant departure from their pitching woes throughout the season. If the Reds can pitch effectively again here, they could get themselves one of the most significant wins of their entire season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have won four games in a row entering Thursday’s MLB action. They took the last two games of their recent series with the San Diego Padres, then earned a two-game mini-sweep over the AL West leading Texas Rangers. Now, the Diamondbacks will aim for a fifth straight win and switch places with the Reds in the NL Wild Card standings.
Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, they have one of their top arms on the mound for this crucial contest. Merrill Kelly is on the mound for the Diamondbacks to start this contest, who is 10-5 with an ERA of 3.13. While he is not quite as dominant as NL Cy Young frontrunner Zac Gallen for Arizona, he is still one of the few arms that Arizona would be happy to have starting a game of this magnitude.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks have put up similar numbers to the Reds this season, even if the Reds are slightly superior in total runs scored and home runs hit on the season. With the D-Backs having a pitching advantage in this game, they should be able to offset the slight offensive edge the Reds bring to Phoenix. Whether or not that is enough to give Arizona the upper hand in this game remains to be seen.
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
Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
© 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.