Following a dreadful run against the National League West, the Cincinnati Reds can only hope a series against an interleague foe shakes them out of the rut they find themselves in at the moment. The Reds seek an end to a nine-game slide overall and hope to avoid their first 10-game road losing streak since 1998 on Monday when they play the first of three against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cincinnati found itself in third place and two games out of the lead in the NL Central on the morning of June 9 after completing a four-game sweep of St. Louis before proceeding to go winless on a six-game west coast trip through Los Angeles and San Diego. The Reds didn’t fare any better against the Dodgers at home over the weekend, getting swept in three contests to fall into the division cellar and 7 1/2 games back of first-place Milwaukee. Tampa Bay belted five homers Sunday to back impressive rookie starter Jacob Faria in a 9-1 victory over Detroit and earn a split of its four-game road series with the Tigers. The Rays took three of four from Miami to begin May in their only other interleague series this season and have won seven of their last nine at home overall.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.29 ERA) vs. Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.77)
Feldman’s three-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday in San Diego, allowing four earned runs and failing to last more than five innings for the third time in four tries. The Hawaii native was coming off seven scoreless innings at home against St. Louis five days earlier and has been markedly worse on the road (2-3, 5.58 ERA) than in Cincinnati (3-2, 3.45). Evan Longoria (5-for-17) and Derek Norris (6-for-14) have each homered against Feldman, who is 4-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 17 games (seven starts) versus the Rays.
Odorizzi was fortunate to come away with a no-decision Wednesday at Toronto after giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks across only 4 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old has done some of his best work at Tropicana Field this year, however, posting a 3-2 record with a 3.11 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while allowing hitters to bat only .213 against him. Odorizzi carries a 6-3 record with a 3.12 ERA in 15 interleague starts as he squares off against Cincinnati for the first time.
1. The Rays have the second-best record in the American League against right-handed starters (29-19) and the second-worst mark in the AL against southpaws (8-16).
2. Cincinnati starting pitchers are 0-6 with an 8.29 ERA during the Reds’ nine-game losing streak.
3. Tampa Bay took two of three in Cincinnati when the teams last met in 2014, but the Reds hold a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series.
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Reds 3