Friday MLB preview: Reds at Phillies, Dodgers at Giants
Cincinnati Reds (28-33) at Philadelphia Phillies (35-27), 7:05 p.m. ETTyler Mahle (2-5, 4.26 ERA) (CIN) EVEN / +1.5 runs (-180) / Over 9 runs (-120) Zach Eflin (5-5, 3.02 ERA) (PHI) -110 / -1.5 runs (+150) / Under 9 runs (EVEN)
MLB Free Play: Reds moneylineThe Reds look like a good bet as underdogs at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
Tyler Mahle starts for Cincinnati, and he is ninth in the NL in strikeout/walk ratio (4.79). The downside to all those strikeouts is that he usually lasts just five or six innings, but the Reds' relief corps has pitched to a 2.65 ERA in its last seven games.
Zach Eflin makes his first start for Philadelphia since May 26 after a brief stay on the IL (back stiffness). The shaky Phillies' bullpen, which has pitched to a 5.91 ERA (25th) in its last seven games, could have extra work as a result. They'll have to be wary of Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto, who is batting .375 in his last 11 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers (43-20) at San Francisco Giants (25-36), 10:15 p.m. ETClayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) (LAD) -225 / -1.5 runs (-140) / Over 7.5 runs (-105) Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA) (SF) +200 / +1.5 runs (+120) / Under 7.5 runs (-115)
MLB Free Play: Dodgers runlineThere's no reason to get clever in this late-night matchup. The visitors should prove superior with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Kershaw has an impressive 8.4 SO/W ratio in his last seven starts, and his team is perfect behind him in that span. Dating back to 2016, the Dodgers' ace is 6-3 in 14 starts against San Francisco with a 2.06 ERA. First baseman Brandon Belt and shortstop Brandon Crawford are a combined 9-for-96 all-time against Kershaw, with 40 strikeouts and four walks.
Drew Pomeranz has posted a woeful 1.872 WHIP and .317 batting average against in 2019. He was almost removed from the rotation, but the Giants are giving him one more chance. San Francisco has the edge in the bullpen battle (fifth in ERA compared to the Dodgers' 18th-place ranking), but Los Angeles' relievers had the benefit of a Thursday off day.