For the first time in more than a decade Cincinnati can rest assured that its playoff spot is not endangered by divisional rivals. The Reds have amassed a consistent lead and is cruising to what appears to be a comfortable victory, with the only target being the winning of the National League. Meanwhile, the Phillies are taking it one game at a time and try to repair the grave injustice made to Cliff Lee.
Bet: Philadelphia Phillies Run Line -1,5
Odds: bet365 2.45
The starting pitcher came to Philadelphia just like Roy Halladay, hoping that his precision and consistency will be backed up by a mighty hitting squad. Philadelphia has some of the best sluggers in its rotation, but this season Howard, Polanco, Utley and the other amazing players have cold bats. Cliff Lee lost 7 decisions out of 9, while keeping his ERA below 4.00 at all times and the Phillies owe it to him to produce more runs in the remaining rounds of the season.
A crushing record at Citizens Bank Park
Cincinnati players surely hate traveling to Philadelphia, because this team defeated them 8 times in a row and took 16 of the latest 17 games. It is a crushing record that is most likely to persist as the visitors are huge underdogs due to Homer Bailey’s sudden inability to pitch. He didn’t last more than 5 innings in neither of his last four starts and conceded an average of 5 runs over this span. With the Phillies finding a way to score 15 runs in the opening game, it is obvious that Homer will have a tough night.
With an ERA of 4.16 he can consider himself lucky to have 10 victories in 2012 and should thank his teammates, while staying positive about their ability to score. He lost all three starts at Citizens Bank Park and has surrendered an average of 7 runs on this arena, so it is only fair to say that the numbers are stacked against him. The main threat for Bailey is Jay Bruce who went 3 for 3 in the first game of the series and this is just one of the players the starting pitcher will probably choose to walk today.
It was no accident that Philadelphia won the opener and if Cliff Lee continues his dominance over the Reds, the hosts will need only a fraction of the runs scored last night to secure another victory. The Phillies might lack the motivation because their playoff chances are virtually extinguished, but in the absence of any pressure they should be able to cover the -1,5 Run Line that Bet365 values at 2.45.