Reds vs Red Sox MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Evening

Reds vs Red Sox MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Evening

Don’t look now but the Cincinnati Reds are playing good baseball and are ahead of schedule in their rebuild. One big part of their future is fire-balling right-hander Hunter Greene, who is on the mound for Thursday’s series finale in Boston, which is a solid favorite on the MLB odds behind Chris Sale. 

Reds vs Red Sox | 2023 MLB Expert Analysis


How to Bet Cincinnati at Boston MLB Odds & TV Info

When: Thursday, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Fenway Park
Probable pitchers (away/home): Hunter Greene/Chris Sale
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream/gameday audio:
Opening MLB Lines: Red Sox -160, Reds +150 (total 9.5)


Why Bet on Cincinnati?

On April 23, the Reds were 8 games under .500 (7-15) and 8.5 games out of first place, both season high. They have the best record in the NL Central since then. Reds baserunners in 51 attempts have scored 50 runs from second base on singles. Both lead the majors.

Outfielder TJ Friedl left Tuesday’s game injured and wasn’t in the starting lineup Wednesday. He has been really hot at the plate since returning from an injured list stint. Fellow OF Nick Senzel was a late scratch Tuesday with a minor injury but started Wednesday.

Alexis Díaz struck out one and collected his 13th save of the season on Tuesday. The Reds had a six-run lead going into the ninth inning but had to ask their closer to bail them out on Tuesday. The 26-year-old needed 12 pitches to get the job done and picked up his 13th save of the year. He has converted all 13 of his save opportunities to go along with a minuscule 1.69 ERA.

It’s right-hander Hunter Greene on the mound Thursday. Greene (1-4) earned the win last Friday, tossing six hitless innings during a 9-0 victory over the Cubs. He struck out 11 and walked two. Of his 11 strikeouts, eight came on the fastball. The Cubs didn’t have a ball into the outfield until the final two batters of his outing.

“His fastball had a different gear today,” catcher Curt Casali said.

Coming into the contest, Greene allowed seven home runs and 17 runs over his previous four starts, but he was still striking batters out at a high clip (29 through 22 innings). He maintained that elite strikeout rate versus the Cubs while reducing the hard contact, resulting in the best outing of his season and arguably of his short two-year career. The best stretch of his career thus far came at the end of 2022, when he posted a 0.62 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 45:7 K:BB over his final five starts (29 innings).

In his past two starts, Greene has recorded 10 and 11 strikeouts. No Reds pitcher, since 1893, ever has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in 3 consecutive appearances.

Greene’s lone start vs. Boston came June 1 last year in Boston when he allowed four runs over 3.2 innings of a loss.

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Why Bet on Boston?

Outfielder Adam Duvall (wrist) is targeting June 9 for his return to the Red Sox. The 34-year-old slugger is currently on a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Worcester where he’ll split his time between the outfield and designated hitter. Duvall has been shelved since he suffered a left wrist fracture in early April. He had been lighting the world on fire prior to the injury — hitting .455/.514/1.030 with four home runs and 14 RBI through his first eight games of the season.

Infielder Trevor Story (elbow) continues to ramp up hitting and throwing, but still hasn’t been cleared for rehab games. Story continues participating in all baseball activities down at the Red Sox’ spring training facility in Florida, but has yet to be cleared to start playing in rehab games. The 30-year-old is targeting a mid-to-late July return to Boston’s lineup.

It’s lefty Chris Sale on the mound. Sale (5-2) allowed a run on four hits and a walk while striking out three over five innings to earn the win Friday over the Diamondbacks. Sale had been dealing with a stomach bug this week, which explains why he was limited to 73 pitches (44 strikes). WIT marked the fourth time Sale’s limited an opponent to one run this season. The veteran has trimmed his ERA to 4.72 with a 1.16 WHIP and 65:14 K:BB through 55.1 innings over 10 starts.

Sale has gone 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA, allowing seven earned runs while striking out 30 hitters in Sale’s last 26 innings pitched for the Red Sox. In each start, Sale has made it five innings or more while holding opposing offenses to three or fewer runs with a .232 batting average.

“I’m going out there and having fun again,’’ Sale says, “and not throwing every pitch with three years of hate behind it. I’m going out there with the attitude that today is a new day. Take it for what it is. Appreciate it. Because I sure know it can be taken away.”

Sale has thrown 5.0+ innings in each of his last 7 starts. He has allowed 3 HR over his last 7 starts, all solo (5 HR in his first 3 starts). Finally, Sale has 5 BB in his last 6 starts (37.1 IP), after issuing 9 BB in his first 4 (18.0 IP). Manager Alex Cora identified Sale’s fifth start of the season, against the Baltimore Orioles, as the turning point.

“We made an adjustment after the last start in Baltimore (on April 24),” Cora explained. “He was using this 95 mph windup and it looked like he wasn’t athletic. As you guys know, with Chris, stuff played a few years ago but deception was part of it. We got him moving now in the rubber. He’s a lot faster, he’s an athlete on the rubber.”

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Game Trends

  • Reds are 17-35 in their last 52 vs. American League East.
  • Reds are 36-79 in their last 115 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Reds are 20-45 in their last 65 interleague road games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • Red Sox are 4-10 in their last 14 games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Red Sox are 1-11 in their last 12 interleague home games.
  • Reds are 3-11 in the last 14 meetings.

Expert Prediction

Red Sox 5, Reds 4


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