Looking to scratch an action itch? You bet we got you covered. Every day our ravenous bettors scour the web for their favorite player props to boost the bankroll. Today’s featured line comes from Matthew Davis.
Cincinnati Reds NL Central division winner (+275, DraftKings)
As of right now, the Reds are four games back of the Chicago Cubs. That alone has moved the line from +230 to +275. The Cubs bring in a large volume of public bets due to their market, but they have plenty of issues, which gives me a rare comfort on a bet available at +275. Here’s why:
- Pitching tends to win out, especially when you have multiple guys at the top of a starting rotation who are able to produce at an elite level. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo and Trevor Bauer look healthy and confident this season. Castillo is somewhat underperforming so far, while Gray and Bauer are early NL Cy Young contenders with nothing but dominant performances. The duo has a combined four wins, 48 strikeouts with a 0.82 ERA over 32 innings pitched.
- The Reds bullpen is one of the deeper pens in all of MLB. Anchor Raisel Iglesias has looked like one of if not the best closer in baseball thus far, boasting a 42% K-BB rate. Amir Garrett is close to duplicating Iglesias’ early success with a 46.2% strikeout rate. Depth goes beyond Iglesias and Garrett with Michael Lorenzen, Pedro Strop, Lucas Sims and Nate Jones being viable back-end options.
- Bullpens are going to play a huge factor into a team's success with the short season and urgency managers have displayed by going to their bullpens earlier than ever before. This doesn’t bode well for the Cubs, as we have seen closer Craig Kimbrel turn every outing into a disaster. Rowan Wick could potentially take the closer role from Kimbrel and we have seen Jeremy Jeffress get out of jams early on, though Jeffress isn’t posing a velocity high enough to have continued success, and his 17.6% strikeout rate is bad for a reliever. The rest of the bullpen is oatmeal. As the season progresses, you’ll notice the bullpen being a dent in their armor.
- Adding Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama in the winter has already looked like great additions. The offense as a whole is showing great plate discipline with a 11.4% walk rate with one of the lower strikeout rates (22.2%). Castellanos is on pace to be the NL MVP and Joey Votto looks to have revived himself with a hot start to the season. Offense shouldn’t be an issue for the “Big Red Machine” as they are one of the more talented offenses in all of baseball.
Cincinnati’s trio of elite level starting pitching and a bullpen that won’t hand over games like the Cubs will highlight an error in the NL Central odds. Throw in the Reds’ offense that can score early and you have the recipe you want when investing in a division winner.