This Interleague series began last night with the Jays taking the opener against the Reds. That is no surprise as the Jays are the far superior team, even though a 2-1 victory did not really show it.
Toronto continues to struggle at the plate but in any game where you give up just 1 run, you have a great chance to win. It is especially encouraging that lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched well in the win as he has been the weak link in a very good rotation this season.
Cincinnati is a significant underdog this afternoon. They are not as historically bad as they were a few weeks back but just give them time. I am sure they can get back there
Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays Betting Odds and Matchup Information
- Matchup: Cincinnati Reds (11-27, 6-18 road, 5th in the NL Central) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (21-18, 13-7 home, 3rd in the AL East)
- Venue & Location: Rogers Centre (Toronto, Canada)
- Date: Saturday, May 21, 2022
- Time: 3:07 p.m. Eastern Time
Reds vs. Blue Jays Pitching Matchup
- Cincinnati Reds: Hunter Greene
- Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah
Reds vs. Blue Jays Odds
Odds are via FanDuel. Odds from our other top reviewed and recommended sportsbooks may also be included in this article.
- Cincinnati Reds +210
- Toronto Blue Jays -255
- OVER 8 (-104)
- UNDER 8 (-118)
- Cincinnati Reds +1.5 (+104)
- Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-125)
The Reds have been waiting a long time for prospect Hunter Greene. He was the second pick in the draft way back in 2017 and has taken a long time to develop. You don’t expect high school players to be in the Majors the next season, but his path has been much longer than most top prospects.
Unfortunately, Cincinnati is still waiting as the big righty has excellent stuff but little command. He is third in Majors walks allowed and second in homers because when you get his big fastball in the zone and connect it goes a long way.
At this point, he is learning in the Majors but the Reds do not have a lot of options.
Alek Manoah is doing the same thing, just with amazing success and confidence. He made his MLB debut last season and looked great with a 9-2 record for the Jays.
This season he has been even better. He has pitched at least 5 innings in every start with an ERA of 1.71 which is 6th in the Majors. He does his best work at home too where that ERA drops even lower.
Manoah was not the same degree of prospect as Greene coming out of the University of West Virginia but there might not be a better young pitcher in the Majors right now.
Cincinnati Is Still Pretty Darn Bad
For a while there the Reds were tracking as one of the worst teams of all time. Not really a shock given the way they gutted the team over the offseason with trades and letting free agents walk.
Cincinnati has been better lately, including bringing a two-game winning streak north of the border, but this is still an awful team. They are especially thin on the mound where they are last in the league in team ERA and WHIP.
They are a little better at the plate but injuries to players like 2B Jonathan India and surprising 3B Brandon Drury have thinned things out. 1B Joey Votto has been a good soldier but he must be wondering if there is a way to get out of there.
Close Wins Still Count for Toronto
The Jays continue to frustrate at the plate. It is the whole team that is off too, which is so surprising after last year.
After last night’s two-run output they are just 24th in the Majors in scoring and even their home run total is nothing special this season.
However, Toronto is winning 62% of their close games this season compared to just 48% last season. Obviously, that is an improvement but with the hitters they have, there just shouldn’t be so many of those kinds of games. (Cincinnati by comparison wins just 17% of their close games, like last night)
With every game and series, you keep wondering when the bats are going to wake up. Toronto was 5th in run differential last season but this year they are 18th (-11 even with the winning record).
Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays Prediction & Best Bet
Reds vs. Blue Jays Prediction: Blue Jays 5, Reds 2
Reds vs. Blue Jays Best Bets: Blue Jays -1.5 (-125 at FanDuel & Caesars Sportsbook) & UNDER 8 (-115 at Caesars Sportsbook)
Looking at today’s game I am highly confident that Manoah will have another strong outing. In his short career, the Reds have never seen him and their lineup is limited.
Greene might have the same advantage early against Toronto. The Jays can be a very good fastball hitting team and I am betting that like other teams that have faced Greene they are going to wait him out and turn on a few good pitches to hit.
The offense might not explode this afternoon but Rogers Centre is favorable to hitters so the Jays should do enough damage.
Greene is likely to go less than 5 and once you get into the Cincinnati bullpen that is generally a good thing. It is definitely not a surprise, but that group is third from the bottom in WAR.
With the odds the way they are, you have to look at the Blue Jays on the run line this afternoon. That is the challenge this season because they are playing so many close games. Manoah has been their best pitcher though so it is not asking too much for him to hold down the worst team in baseball while they get a rare easy win.
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