Major League Baseball

MLB Game Preview: Pads Host NL-Central Leading Reds

Jon Garland is 7-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 startsMLB Betting – Cincinnati Reds @ San Diego Padres
Travis Wood (5-4) vs. Jon Garland (14-12)

Wood vs. Padres Hitting
This rookie lefty has been a solid acquisition for the Reds in 2010. He came out of nowhere and has given Cincinnati one of their most consistent starters. In nine of his last 10 outings, Wood has pitched at least 5 innings and allowed three or less runs. His 1-3 record in his past six starts is less of an indication of bad pitching and more of a combination of bad luck and little run support. If your into sports betting, bet that he’ll continue his solid play in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.

Wood’s never played against the Padres, but there’s not much offense to be afraid of. Adrian Gonzalez is a dangerous hitter, and is headed for another 30 HR, 100 RBI season. Miguel Tejada has heated up as of late, most recently hitting his 300th career home run. But after those two there is not much to be feared. Ryan Ludwick hasn’t been the consistent force he needs to be, and the rest of the team is just good enough to let the pitching carry them. It won’t be easy, but it’s not going to be like playing the Phillies.

Garland vs. Reds Hitting
Not many people predicted 14 wins for Jon Garland this season, but that’s what the veteran has delivered in his first season in San Diego. He’s been a very big part of the Padres turnaround in 2010, and will be needed to be just as good on the stretch run. The team is lucky to be starting him at home; at PETCO, where Garland’s fly-ball antics are an asset, the veteran is 7-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts.

The Reds have a dangerous lineup, highlighted by MVP candidate Joey Votto. Although the first baseman is no longer in contention for the Triple Crown, his numbers in those categories (.323, 35 HR, 106 RBI) is nothing to be scoffed at. Add in Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs, and you have the makings of an offense that can hit a lot of home runs. Unfortunately, they’re playing in a park that doesn’t allow too many long balls. Advantage: San Diego.

Bullpen Comparison
If you’re into MLB betting, you know the Padres bullpen is the best in baseball. Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher are the best trio of set-up men in the league. But the face, star and anchor of the ‘pen is Heath Bell. The outspoken reliever has recently set a new career high with 43 saves in 2010, including a current streak of 30 straight.
It doesn’t matter how good the Reds ‘pen may be, it’s not as good as San Diego’s. The thing is, it’s not that good anyway. Francisco Cordero has 38 saves, but his 4.12 ERA isn’t an ideal number for an elite closer. Arthur Rhodes is the only regular with an ERA under 3.00. This is the biggest self-hurdle the Reds will have to overcome on the road to postseason glory.

Outlook
Earlier in the year, the Padres swept the Reds in a three-game series in Cincinnati. Considering that’s a ballpark that plays to the Reds strengths, it was a bit of a surprise. Now they’re in San Diego, where the Padres are still clamoring for a playoff spot and the Reds are trying to stay healthy for the postseason. San Diego motivated, Cincinnati not-so-much. I’m betting San Diego.

MLB Betting Pick: San Diego Padres

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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