HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsCincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles Series Preview: Red Hot Cincinnati Reds Face the Orioles

Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles Series Preview: Red Hot Cincinnati Reds Face the Orioles

We have a tremendous three-game series beginning Monday between two teams trending up when the Cincinnati Reds meet the Baltimore Orioles.

Image: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The Reds have won 12 of their last 14, have played with fire in their eyes, and now have a 1.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central Division standings.

Baltimore is 5-5 over their past 10 and has been second in the American League East for most of the season. Game 1 is set for Monday, June 26, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 pm at Orioles Park in Camden Yards.

The Elly De La Cruz Era Begins

3B Elly De La Cruz got the call to join the big club on June 5 and has been the catalyst for the Reds’ recent success. De La Cruz has done everything but wash the windows in Cincinnati – the rookie 3B is batting .359 with a .423 on-base percentage (OBP) with three bombs, 10 RBI, and eight stolen bases on just 71 plate appearances. De La Cruz has been hotter than fish grease and recently became the youngest player since 1972 to hit “the cycle.”

Votto and Fraley Return to Lineup

Veteran 1B Joey Votto finally suited up for the Reds this past week and immediately made an impact. Votto slugged a bomb on his first game back and is hitting .294 with three jacks and seven ribbies through his first 20 plate appearances this season.

Earlier this week, OF Jake Fraley returned from his stint on the IL and has slashed .368/.455/1.053 with four home runs and nine RBI over his previous 22 plate appearances.

Reds Pitching Staff Looking to Make Its Mark

The Reds starting pitching staff is young and has been inconsistent this season. Seasonally speaking, the red legs starting rotation are 13th in team ERA, xFIP, and wins above replacement (WAR), and the starting staff has essentially the same rankings over the past 14 days as their season-long numbers.

The Bullpen has been slightly better than the starting rotation has been, but not by much. The bullpen has blown 10 saves already this season but 2nd in saves (28). Closer Alexis Diaz is 2nd in the National League in saves (21) for a bullpen boasting saves by six different closers this season.

Baltimore Trying to Catch Tampa Bay

For much of the season, Baltimore has been keeping a close eye on the Rays in the standings. They are 4.5 games behind Tampa Bay and enter this series with the third-most wins in the American League in the MLB.

Over their last 10 games, the Orioles have been playing .500 ball. However, they’ve been performing well at Oriole Park at Camden Yards with a record of 23-14 and have a 9-8 record against the National League this season.

1B Anthony Santander has been leading the charge for Baltimore with 13 home runs and a team-high 45 ribbies. However, he’s second on the team in strikeouts with 71, trailing behind rookie shortstop Gunnar Henderson’s team-leading 73 whiffs.

LF Austin Hayes has also performed exceptionally well with 81 hits and a .318 batting average, leading the club in both categories and catcher Adley Rutschman is having a strong season and is probably the Orioles best player.

The Orioles are also expected to call up top infield prospect Jordan Westburg. Westburg was hitting .295 with 18 home runs and 54 ribbies over 67 games with AAA Norfolk and could be in the lineup as soon as Monday, according to MLB insider Jeff Passan.

Baltimore’s starting rotation has been decent and, with the exception of lefty Grayson Rodriguez, has been better than preseason pundits thought they’d be. Rodriguez and Cole Irvin have been brutal, but Kyle Gibson, Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish, and Dean Kremer have been more than serviceable.

The Orioles bullpen is the best in baseball. The ‘pen boasts a 4.1 WAR and an MLB-leading 64 holds. The bullpen is 10th in blown saves–closer Felix Bautista has five, but his 20 saves rank 5th in the game.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles Series Preview

The three-game intraleague series begins Monday, June 26. The probable starting pitchers for the series are listed below.

Date

Time

Cincinnati Reds

Baltimore Orioles

Monday

7:05 PM

Brandon Williamson (1-0,5.40)

Cole Irvin (1-3, 7.71)

Tuesday

7:05 PM

Andrew Abbot (3-1, 1.14)

Tyler Wells (6-3, 2.22)

Wednesday

7:05 PM

Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.86)

Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.50)

INJURIES

Cincinnati Reds: Starting pitchers Hunter Green and Nick Lodolo are out for this series.

Baltimore Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle has vertigo and will likely miss this series.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles Series Prediction

The Reds have been hot, but mostly because of their bats. Baltimore is throwing two good arms in Wells and Gibson, and I like the Orioles to win this series.

As we’ve seen, the Reds starting rotation is missing some key personnel and has relied on the offense and bullpen to get the job done.

The Reds’ bats and bullpen have done a great job at this over the past two weeks, but the staff is up against it as Baltimore is one of the better hitting teams in the game and has scored the 10th most runs this season.

Baltimore has to have the edge in this series. They have the better starting rotation, and their bullpen is the best in the game. During their amazing run over the last few weeks, Cincinnati has been the cardiac kids, with dramatic, come-from-behind victories. Still, Baltimore is a formidable baseball team playing at home, where they are 23-14 and 7-5 over their previous 12.

This could be a high-scoring series. Both offenses can light up the scoreboard, and there won’t be any superstar pitching matchups. Cincinnati wins games with their bats, and they have a young, talented lineup that scores runs in droves. Baltimore has played nearly five runs per game over their last five, facing a terrible starting rotation. It should be a fun series. Series Prediction: Baltimore 2-1

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