A’s at Reds Free Friday Play

On June 10, 2016, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

A’s minus $1.18 at Reds

This is how bad pitching is for the Reds: They are eagerly welcoming back second-year big leaguer Anthony DeSclafani to the mound tonight for his season debut. DeSclafani has been out since the end of spring training with an oblique strain.

DeSclafani did display a glimpse of potential in his rookie season last year, but finished by losing his last three starts giving up 17 runs. He has yet to solve hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park with a 5.11 home ERA. Cincinnati is 2-8 in DeSclafani’s last 10 starts.

Since it’s his big league first start of 2016, DeSclafani could be on a pitch count. That means the Reds’ bullpen – the worst in the majors – is likely to be heavily involved.

The flip side of this equation is believing that A’s starter Sonny Gray is back to his stud form of the past three seasons. This is essential to the handicap because the A’s have lost seven in a row on the road and are down outfielder Josh Reddick and also may be missing outfielder Khris Davis, who has a finger injury.

The mystery of why Gray has been so bad this season was solved a couple of weeks ago when he went on the DL with a strained trapezius muscle. Looking to buy low, I traded for Gray in my American League fantasy league dealing closer Huston Street for him after watching Gray’s road performance against the Astros this past Sunday.

That was Gray’s first start since coming off the DL and he was sharp giving up one earned run in five innings with five strikeouts and seven ground ball outs. Gray was excellent on the road last season going 8-3 with a 2.82 ERA. So the Sonny Gray buy sign is on for me at this price.

The Reds have dropped nine of their last 12 home games and are 2-9 the past 11 times going a righty at Great American Ball Park. The A’s are far from a good team, but they have taken care of business against bad teams winning six of the last seven times versus foes with a winning percentage below .400.


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