Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated May 19, 2022

The Toronto Blue Jays will get a rare visit from the National League's Cincinnati Reds on Friday as the teams open a three-game set at Rogers Centre.

Cincinnati
25-47
AT
May 20, 2022, 7:07 PM ET
Rogers Centre
Toronto
40-32
Runline +1.5 -115
Moneyline +190
Over / Under o +8

8%

Betting Action

92%

Runline -1.5 -105
Moneyline -230
Over / Under u +8

8%

Betting Action

92%

The Toronto Blue Jays will face their first National League team of the 2022 season when they host the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds for a three-game series starting Friday. The Jays are -175 favourites to win on the MLB odds.

Betting Analysis

In past seasons, a National League team like the Reds would add the designated hitter in the American League park, but there’s a universal DH now.

There’s really no excuse for Toronto to not sweep this series against Cincinnati as the Reds are the worst team in the majors – although playing better of late — and could threaten the modern-day record of 120 losses set by the 1962 New York Mets.

Last week, the Reds became the sixth team in history to not allow a hit in a game and still lose that game. Alas, that was not considered an official no-hitter because the Pittsburgh Pirates (won 1-0) didn’t have to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning – a no-hitter must be completed in nine full innings. Rookie Hunter Greene was the starting pitcher for Cincinnati that day (went 7.1 innings), and the highly touted prospect is scheduled to take the mound Saturday. No one in the majors throws harder than Greene.

These teams haven’t met since 2017 when Toronto swept a three-game home set. The Reds are 6-12 all-time vs. the Blue Jays, including 2-7 at Rogers Centre.

Cincinnati Reds

One of the best Canadian major leaguers ever is still with the Reds in Toronto native Joey Votto, although he’s a shell of his former six-time All-Star self these days at age 38 and hitting .122. The 2010 NL MVP has been on the COVID list since early this month but is expected to be activated for Friday’s opener. In nine career game at Rogers Centre, he is 8-for-33 with three homers and seven RBIs but also 11 strikeouts.

Second baseman Jonathan India, the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year, is on the injured list and won’t be back soon. It likely will be Luis Castillo (0-1, 5.59) on the mound Friday. The right-hander got a late start to the season working back from injury and has allowed three runs in each of his first two starts totalling 9.2 innings. This will be his first career start against Toronto. The Reds actually have won their past four series openers.

Toronto Blue Jays

Baseball is a funny game. Toronto arguably was at a starting pitching disadvantage at least numbers-wise in its first two games this week at home vs. Seattle, yet won both by multiple runs. In Wednesday’s finale, the Jays had the clear pitching advantage behind Cy Young contender Kevin Gausman but lost 5-1. To make matters worse, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was removed from the game in the sixth inning with left hamstring tightness. On the bright side, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games (longest active streak in majors), and Santiago Espinal extended his to a career-best 12. Closer Jordan Romano didn’t pitch at all in the series as he’s dealing with a gastrointestinal infection.

It’s lefty Hyun Jin Ryu (0-0, 9.00 ERA) for Friday’s opener. In his first start since returning from the injury list, Ryu allowed a run over 4 2/3 innings last Saturday in a no-decision against the Rays. He is 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 41.1 career innings vs. Cincinnati. The Jays are 3-8 in their past 11 following an off day.

MLB Prediction: Who Will Win Reds vs. Blue Jays?

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