The way July started made it look like this would be another mediocre month for the Reds and it appeared like they would have to fight hard for securing the first place in the competitive central division. San Diego was the first team that Cincinnati defeated despite losing the opening game and except for two bumps in the road in a series with Arizona, the Reds cruised to what now stands for an impressive 10 games winning streak.
Match: Cincinnati Reds vs San Diego Padres
Bet: San Diego Padres
Odds: bet365 2.40
The starting pitchers did their part and limited the opponents to just a few runs per game, but it was the offensive that enabled Cincinnati to match their best winning streak in 55 years. After two very successful series against teams from the West division, they return home to face San Diego and it appears like they will further increase their lead. The Reds will welcome Edison Volquez, one of their former pitchers who didn’t deliver expected results and got traded to the Padres a few months ago.
A chance to prove the critics wrong
Edison Volquez was the pitcher to receive the worst run support among Cincinnati starters, but despite the batting staff’s lack of consistency, he still won 14 decisions at the Great American Ballpark. He is as familiar as it gets with this arena and the fact that San Diego is hardly a high-scoring team won’t influence his performance in any way. In the right circumstances, Volquez can carry his team to victory and his intimate knowledge of Cincinnati’s rotation shouldn’t be dismissed as irrelevant.
The hosts are aiming for the 11th consecutive success which would enable them to break free at the top of the leaderboard, as they are currently tied with Washington for 61 victories. They hand the ball to Mike Leake who is still recovering after injury and pitched just once as a starter in July. As things stand right now, Mike depends on his team to provide him with sufficient runs, so that the few runs he routinely concedes will go unnoticed.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that San Diego is the better team or favorite to win these opening match of the series. On the other hand I consider the teams to be evenly matched and despite the fact that the hosts are red hot and have a superior batting staff, the Padres shouldn’t be underestimated. For a match that can easily go either way, I like backing the visitors when bet365 offers them odds that go as high as 2.40.