Blue Jays vs Reds Prediction - MLB Picks 8/18/23

Cincinnati Reds (63-59) vs Toronto Blue Jays (67-55)

Game Info: Friday, August 18, 2023 at 6:40 pm (Great American Ball Park)

Brett Kennedy (1-0) (5.14) vs Jose Berrios (9-8) (3.53)

Betting Odds: Cincinnati Reds +136 / Toronto Blue Jays -162 --- Over/Under: 10.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Toronto Blue Jays will play the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of their series on Friday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati has played slightly better over their last five games, but they have had major issues over the last few weeks. Toronto has also had some struggles recently and they are right in the middle of the AL Wild Card race. 

Blue Jays Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays are 67-55 this season and they have lost four of their last six games. Toronto is coming off of a series split with the Phillies, where they won one game and lost one game. The Blue Jays bats have gone cold recently, scoring three runs or fewer in six of their last nine games. The Toronto pitching staff has a 3.70 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and a .240 opponent batting average this year. The Blue Jays offense has scored 546 runs with a .259 batting average and a .330 on base percentage. Whit Merrifield is batting .301 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI’s for the Blue Jays. The projected starting pitcher for Toronto is Jose Berrios, who is 9-8 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over 140.1 innings pitched this season.

Reds Preview

The Cincinnati Reds are 63-59 this season and they have won three of their last five games. Cincinnati is coming off of a series split with the Guardians, where they won one game and lost one game. The Reds have one of the worst team ERA’s in the MLB, but they have pitched better in their last seven games. The Cincinnati pitching staff has a 4.76 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP, and a .259 opponent batting average. The Reds offense has scored 588 runs with a .251 batting average and a .328 on base percentage this season. TJ Friedl is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI’s for the Reds. The projected starting pitcher for Cincinnati is Brett Kennedy, who is 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 7 innings pitched this year. 

Cincinnati Reds Team Facts

  • The Reds have won each of their last five games as underdogs against American League opponents following a win.
  • The Reds have covered the run line in each of their last six games following a home win.
  • The 'Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs' market has hit in each of the Reds' last four games as home underdogs against AL East opponents.
  • The Reds have led after 7 innings in four of their last six games as underdogs against AL East opponents.

Toronto Blue Jays Team Facts

  • The Blue Jays have lost four of their last five games as favorites.
  • The Blue Jays have covered the run line nine of their last 10 road games against teams that held a winning record.
  • The Blue Jays have led after 5 innings in each of their last eight Friday night road games.
  • The Blue Jays have trailed after 3 innings in five of their last seven games as road favorites.
  • The 'Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs' market has hit in each of the Blue Jays' last three games as road favorites against NL Central opponents.

Cincinnati Reds Player Prop Facts

  • TJ Friedl has hit a home run in each of the Reds' last two games as underdogs against AL East opponents.
  • Joey Votto has recorded at least one RBI in six of his last seven appearances against AL East opponents.
  • Elly De La Cruz has scored a run in four of the Reds' last five games as home underdogs.
  • Joey Votto has recorded at least one hit in each of his last nine appearances at Great American Ball Park against AL East opponents that held a winning record.
  • Joey Votto has recorded at least one total base in each of his last nine appearances at Great American Ball Park against AL East opponents that held a winning record.

Toronto Blue Jays Player Prop Facts

  • Daulton Varsho has hit a home run in each of the Blue Jays' last two games as favorites against NL opponents.
  • Daulton Varsho has recorded at least one RBI in four of the Blue Jays' last five games as road favorites against NL Central opponents.
  • Daulton Varsho has recorded two or more total bases in each of the Blue Jays' last four road games against NL Central opponents.
  • Jose Berrios has recorded seven strikeouts in three of his four previous appearances in night games against NL Central teams that held a winning record.
  • Whit Merrifield has scored at least one run in six of the Blue Jays' last seven road games against opponents that held a winning record.
  • Alejandro Kirk has recorded at least one hit in each of his last six appearances with the Blue Jays as road favorites against NL opponents.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Cincinnati Reds ranks 28th in the league for home runs allowed this season (170).
  • The Cincinnati Reds ranks 26th in the league for ERA this season (4.76).
  • The Toronto Blue Jays ranks 3rd in the league for strikeouts this season (1140).
  • The Toronto Blue Jays ranks 4th in the league for hits this season (1083).

Pick

The Reds come into this series with sub .500 record at home this year and they are in need of a big series win. Toronto is 35-28 on the road and they have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Cincinnati is starting Brett Kennedy, who has allowed four earned runs over seven innings of work this year. Toronto is starting Jose Berrios, who has allowed seven earned runs in his last two starts (10 IP). I think we are going to see a higher scoring game here, but I like the Reds in this one. Cincinnati may not pitch very well, but their lineup is very dangerous. Take the Reds as an underdog here. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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