|SF (104) @ Draftkings|
My 9* Afternoon Delight is on the SF Giants at 3:45 ET.
The Cincinnati Reds won 3-0 Monday night in San Francisco but the Giants bounced back with a 7-6 victory last night. The teams meet in the rubber match of this three-game series this afternoon at Oracle Park. The Reds ended a six-year postseason drought last season by going 31-29 to earn a wild card spot in the expanded playoffs. The Giants' three World Series titles (2010, 2012 and 2014) seem like they came 20 years ago, although San Francisco just barely missed the postseason last year with a 29-31 record (pretty similar to the Reds).
The teams enter this contest with identical 7-4 records, with Tyler Mahle (1-0, 2.00 ERA) taking the mound for the Reds to face former-Red Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.51 ERA). Mahle is in his fifth season but has shown little in his two busiest years, going 7-9 (23 starts) with a 4.98 ERA in 2018 and 3-13 (25 starts) with a 65.14 ERA in 2019. He's lasted just nine innings in his two starts this season (allowed just two ERs) but the Reds have won both. Cueto pitched 7 1/2 seasons for the Reds before being dealt to Kansas City in 2015. He signed with the Giants in 2016 and went 18-5 (2.79 ERA) that season but from 2017 through his first two starts of 2021, he has been healthy enough to make just 52 starts, going 15-15! The Giants have won Cueto's first two starts in 2021. He's only faced his former team three times but in his most recent two starts, he's allowed four ERs in 15 innings (2.40 ERA) with the Giants winning both games.
As noted above, both teams are 7-4, with each team being strong at home (Reds 5-1 / Giants 4-1). This is a quick turnaround from a night game to an afternoon affair but San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler employed what he called a "line change," replacing four of his eight starting position players as Tuesday's game went along. I'm "all over" the home team and Cueto, who keeps his former team in check.