Cactus and Grapefruit League actions continues on Friday, March 15, 2019 as the MLB’s 2019 season continues to draw near. A handful of interesting matchups are on display and we’ve covered some of them for you.
LA Dodgers vs Cincinnati Reds
Center Fielder Enrique Hernandez leads the Dodgers with 13 hits while batting at .371 in 2019 Cactus League play. Hernandez also leads Los Angeles with 11 RBIs and 3 home runs. Cody Bellinger has seven hits, 9 RBIs and three home runs in preseason action while Austin Barnes has 10 RBIs on nine hits.
The Dodgers’ starter is still listed as TBD as of this writing but the team’s pitching staff has an ERA of 4.19 which is 4th in the league in preseason play and a WHIP of 1.29 that is ranked 6th overall. The Dodgers are 2nd in the Cactus league in batting average allowed at .227.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Cincinnati Reds Odds
Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/15/19
Kyle Farmer leads the Reds with 11 hits in 28 at bats (.393). The 28-year old catcher also has 7 RBIs and 2 homeruns in 11 games played. Second baseman Christian Colon leads the team with 9 RBIs on 9-24 hitting (.375). Meanwhile, Phillip Ervin has four home runs and 5 RBIs for Cincinnati.
Tanner Roark will get the start for the Reds. The 32 year old right hander has started four games this preseason and has a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 0.96. Roark has pitched a total of 9.1 innings and has struck out a total of 11 batters.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have been one of the top pitching staff in the Cactus League. On the other hand, Cincinnati is currently at the bottom of the Cactus League standings at 5-10. They are only one of four teams in their league who have not been able to score at least 100 runs so far in preseason play.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Houston Astros
Rangel Ravelo leads the Cardinals with 14 hits on 41 at bats (.341). The 26-year old first baseman has 7 RBIs and one home run. Right fielder Tyler O’Neil has a team best four home runs and six RBIs on seven hits. Max Schrock also has 6 RBIs on 7 hits
Daniel Ponce de Leon will open on top of the mound for the Cardinals on Friday. The 27-year old has pitched in three games this preseason with one start and has yet to figure in a decision. Ponce de Leon has an ERA of 8.22 with a WHIP of 1.83. He’s pitched a total of 7.2 innings and has struck out 6 batters in Spring Training.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Houston Astros Odds
Odds from betonline.ag as of 3/15/19
Third baseman Nick Tanielu leads Houston with 12 RBIs and four home runs while bating 11-31 (.355) in 11 games played. Yordan Alvarez also has 11 hits while batting at .a 324 average. Meanwhile, Carlos Correa and Derek Fisher have six RBIs each.
Forrest Whitley gets the nod to start for the Houston Astros on Friday. The 21-year old Whitley has pitched in three games this Spring Training and has a record of 1-0 with an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 0.88. Whitley has pitched in a total of 8.0 innings and has struck out a total of 11 batters.
Prediction: Houston Astros. Both these teams are struggling right now with Houston losing two in a row and St. Louis suffering three straight setbacks. But when you look at their overall performance, the Astros are a +5 in run difference while the Cardinals are at -19 which says a lot about the overall performance of the teams.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Brandon Lowe leads Tampa Bay with 13 hits this preseason while Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham have 10 hits each. Lowe also has 23 RBIs to lead his team while Avisail Garcia has contributed 10 RBIs. Garcia also leads three Tampa Bay players who have three homers each.
Willie Font will start for the Rays on Friday. The right hander Font has pitched in three games with one start this preseason but has yet to figure in a decision. Font has pitched only 3.0 total innings though and he has an ERA of 12.0 with a WHIP of 2.67.
Tampa Bay Rays vs Pittsburgh Pirates Odds
Odds not yet availble
JB Shuck and Melky Cabrera lead the Pirates with 11 and 10 hits, respectively. Ke’Bryan Hayes has nine RBIs on 8 hits and a batting average of .333. Jung Ho Kang has four home runs to lead Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, basemen Colin Moran and Will Craig have combined for 11 RBIs.
For the Pirates, Joe Musgrove gets the call to open on top of the hill on Friday. Musgrove has pitched and started in three games this Spring Training. The 26-year old Musgrove has logged in a total of 11.2 innings and has a total of nine strikeouts. He has an ERA of 6.94 and a WHIP of 1.54.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh rank next to each other in the Grapefruit League standings but the Rays have won nine of their last 15 games while the Pirates have won just five games over the same period. Likewise, Tampa Bay has played better overall with a run differential of -8 as compared to Pittsburgh’s -20.
Quick Predictions and Picks
- Baltimore Orioles +130 vs Minnesota Twins -150, Prediction: Minnesota Twins
- Boston Red Sox +110 vs New York Yankees -130, Prediction: New York Yankees
- Chicago Cubs -110 vs Chicago White Sox -110, Prediction: Chicago Cubs
- Miami Marlins +130 vs Atlanta Braves -150, Prediction: Atlanta Braves
- Toronto Blue Jays +125 vs Philadelphia Phillies -145, Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies
- Washington Nationals +100 vs New York Mets -120, Prediction: Washington Nationals