Clients, tonight’s 15* MAX PLAY OF THE DAY has been confirmed and we are on the Arizona Diamondbacks. I tried to grab the line at -155 but got confirmation late and got the (-161) line. That won’t stop me from jumping all over this one, and you will see why if you continue reading.
Breakdown: I have been high on the Diamondbacks all year. They have one of the most underrated pitching staffs in the game, top to bottom, and their ace, Zack Greinke will be on the mound for us in this one. Greinke is 11-4 so far, with an ERA of 2.86. He is allowing opponents to hit a .216 AVG. Even when he falls behind in the count, he only is allowing a .250 AVG and when he is able to work ahead in the count the opponent’s batting average drops to .174. Elite, top 5 stuff. Lefties are hitting .206 and right handed hitters are hitting .226 so he can definitely handle batters on either side of the plate. Greinke is coming off of a good June (3-1, with a 2.70 ERA and opponents hitting .241 against him), but it doesn’t stop there as Zack has been able to elevate his game even higher so far in July as he has built a 2-0 record in two games, while allowing batters to hit .147 and giving up just a 1.29 ERA. I don’t expect anything different from him in this one as Cincinnati is a middle of the back kind of team offensively. They have a speedy lead off guy in Billy Hamilton who leads the league in stolen bases, but other than that, their team speed is mediocre/average at best. If we keep Hamilton off the bases, they don’t have any real threats speed wise. Which should keep the Reds’ run total to a minimum. Not to mention the Dbacks just added J.D. Martinez from the Tigers in the outfield and will really solidify the outer three as we will have speedy guys with strong arms to keep extra base hits down as well (Pollock, Peralta, Martinez), and our infield is even better with Lamb, Goldschmidt, and Owings to help us turn some double plays when need be and keep those ground balls from getting into the outfield. As a side note, we saw Ray struggle on the mound but he was still able to hold the Reds to just two runs, which isn’t a good sign for the Reds considering Grienke is on a tear recently and has been solid all year with no real terrible performances.
As far as our hitting match-up, I think we have a really good one. The Diamondbacks just hung 11 for us last night, and I think they can have a pretty similar outing tonight. On the mound for the Reds is Tim Adleman. Adleman doesn’t have overpowering stuff, fastball velocity is right around 90MPH, and his control has been an issue. At home he is 4-3, but has allowed opponents to pile up a 5.09 ERA in those same games. So far in July, Adleman is 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA and opponents are hitting .311 off of him! Not to mention, since the All Star Break, he has gone 0-1, with a 10.38 ERA and opponents are hitting .350. He gave up 3 homers in his last time out, and when ahead in the count he often struggled to punch people out as we saw when he walked Bryce Harper by throwing 4 straight balls after getting ahead 0-2. As stated before, the Diamondbacks hung 11 last night and just made their offense even better with the addition of J.D. I don’t see this game playing out any other way for a hungry team like the Diamondbacks with a powerful lineup that has solid team speed, and an ace on the mound. My official prediction for this game is Diamondbacks 8 – Reds 3!