|CIN (-110) @ pinnacle|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Cin Reds at 4:10 ET.
The Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Diamondbacks meet Sunday at Chase Field in the rubber match of this three-game series. Cincinnati took two of three to open the season vs the Cardinals, then swept the Pirates in their second series. After a 6-5 win on Friday, the Reds coughed up five runs in the fifth inning on the way to an 8-3 loss. Arizona opened the season losing THREE of four in San Diego and then TWO of three in Colorado. As just noted, the Diamondbacks suffered a one-run loss on Friday, before their bats 'warmed' with eight runs on 10 hits yesterday.
Sunday's pitching matchup features the Reds' Jose De Leon and Arizona's Luke Weaver. De Leon is in his fifth season but has shown little promise. However, he had a solid outing in his 2021, pitching five innings in the Reds' 5-3 win over Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on solo HRs. Luke Weaver started with St Louis (2015-17) and was 15-17 with a 4.79 ERA. He showed promise in his first season with Arizona (2019), going 4-3 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 12 starts. However, Weaver was just plain AWFUL in 2020, going 1-9 with a 6.58 ERA, as the D'backs lost 10 of his 12 starts and his 'sorry' ERA was matched by his 1.56 WHIP. His 2021 debut saw him allow three ERs in 5.2 innings at Coors Field, as Arizona beat the Rockies 10-8.
'Leaning' on De Leon is NOT the key to this play and although it's easy to make a case going against Weaver, that is not the key either (but it DOESN'T hurt). The Reds ended a six-year playoff drought last season by going 31-19 and this year's team owns a lineup that will have them competing for a postseason spot again in 2021. The Reds lead all of MLB with a .312 team BA (only THREE other teams are hitting .280-plus), as well as in runs scored with 66 (8.25 per game). Compare that with Arizona, which owns a team BA of .214 (basically 100 points LOWER than Cincy) and averages just 4.75 RPG. It's Cincinnati bats over the Arizona bats, as the Reds open the season with three straight series' wins and move to 7-2. Watch out NL Central!