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Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies
It will be a National League battle of Central versus West on Thursday as the Cincinnati Reds (17-17) square off with the Colorado Rockies (13-24). The Rockies will host this one at Coors Field, with first pitch scheduled for 8:40 pm ET.
This will be the first of a four-game series between the two teams.
On Wednesday, the Reds won their series over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 5-1 victory. In the win, Sonny Gray went 4.2 innings allowing just a single run on seven hits. Mike Moustakas hit his fourth home run in the victory.
The Rockies were able to avoid a sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres in the nightcap of a doubleheader Wednesday with a 3-2 victory. Josh Fuentes had a big game going two for four with three runs batted in and a home run.
Despite playing on the road, the Reds are the favorites in this one. They are -134 to win while the Rockies’ moneyline sits at +114. The runline features Colorado +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 11.
The Reds will turn to Luis Castillo (1-4, 6.42 ERA) in the opener. Castillo has certainly struggled to start the season, including giving up at least four runs in four of his starts. Unfortunately, Coors Field is not always the place where pitchers who are struggling can figure their woes out.
The Rockies will send Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-1, 5.97 ERA) to square off with Castillo. In his last start, a 9-8 loss to the Cardinals, Gonzalez went four innings giving up seven runs on eight hits.
By The Number
Offensively, the Reds are still one of the best teams in baseball. They currently rank second in runs per game, averaging 5.24. The Rockies rank 12th, averaging 4.57 runs per game.
While both teams can put up runs in a hurry, neither team is especially good at preventing them. The Reds rank 26th in the majors in runs allowed per game at 5.12. The Rockies rank 29th, allowing 5.46 runs per game to opponents.
Reds Have To Improve On The Road
Even though the Reds are .500 overall, they still sit just 3.5 games back from the division-leading Cardinals. With a 7-10 record on the road, though, they will have to improve away from Great American Ballpark if they want a chance at competing for the division.
Leading the way offensively for Cincinnati is Nick Castellanos. He is currently hitting .310/.356/.603 with a team-leading nine home runs. He also has added 22 runs batted in to date.
Against Gonzalez, Eugenio Suarez has had the most success thus far. Albeit in just three at-bats, Suarez has homered and driven in two against the righty.
Rockies Reeling Early In The Season
At 13-24, the Rockies already sit 9.5 games back in a loaded NL. West. At just 3-7 in their last ten, the Rockies are not playing good baseball. Still, anytime they play at Coors Field, they have a chance, proven by their current 11-10 home record.
Ryan McMahon continues to lead the Rockies’ offense. He is hitting .264/.311/.493, but he also has a team-leading eight home runs and 23 runs batted in.
Against Castillo, a few players have had success in their careers. Charlie Blackmon, Raimel Tapia, and Elias Diaz are all hitting .375 or better in their careers against the righty, and all have homered off of him.
Castillo The Key To Reds Success
Anytime that the over/under is at 11, the belief is a lot of runs are going to be scored. It seems like just yesterday that such a high number would be unimaginable if Luis Castillo was on the mound.
Expect that the Reds will put up runs in this one, but the key for them is if Castillo can get it figured out and keep the Rockies’ bats in check. If not, expect a slugfest.
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