Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

MLB Preview: Phillies vs. Reds odds, picks, prediction

The Action Network’s Michael Arinze shares his breakdown of the Phillies-Reds matchup on Tuesday

T.J. Zeuch of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 10, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
T.J. Zeuch of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 10, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)Read moreSarah Stier / Getty Images

It looked a bit dicey at first, but the Phillies’ bats woke up in the third inning with three runs to help cash our first five run line ticket on Monday.

Tuesday’s game brings an interesting dynamic as Mason, Ohio native T.J. Zeuch gets set to make his first home start just 30 minutes from where he grew up.

Zeuch, selected 21st by the Blue Jays in the 2016 MLB Draft, made just 13 appearances with seven starts from 2019 to 2021 while finishing with a 6.60 ERA in his final season with Toronto.

The Blue Jays shipped Zeuch to St. Louis before last year’s trade deadline.

The Cardinals were 51-46 at the time of the trade and needed pitching to help bolster their playoff run. Yet Zeuch spent the rest of the summer in the minor leagues as St. Louis went on to qualify for the postseason via the wild card.

This May, the Cardinals released Zeuch without ever calling him up to the big leagues. Shortly after, the Reds signed Zeuch, and in August, he made his season debut in a 10-2 loss against the Mets.

While the sample size is relatively small for Zeuch, there aren’t a ton of positives to consider in his favor for this homecoming.

This handicap is all about Zeuch, as I plan to dig into the numbers to assess whether there’s a play to be had in this Tuesday matchup.

» READ MORE: The Phillies go for a historic win tonight against the Reds

Phillies vs. Reds MLB odds

Odds provided by FanDuel

Moneyline: PHI (-180) vs. CIN (+152)

Spread: PHI -1.5 (-118) vs. CIN +1.5 (-102)

Total: Over 9.5 (-104) | Under 9.5 (-118)

Phillies vs. Reds probable pitchers

Kyle Gibson (7-5, 4.29 ERA) vs. T.J. Zeuch (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

In 14 appearances with eight starts in his career, Zeuch has a 5.26 ERA in 53 innings. The right-hander has shown a lack of command, walking 4.42 hitters per nine innings. Zeuch has also been susceptible to the long ball (1.70 HR/9 ratio).

At first glance, Zeuch is a towering figure when you see his 6-foot-7 frame on the mound. However, his velocity is a bit of a letdown. His four-seamer only averages around 91.5 mph.

Zeuch does throw a sinker, which is a bit harder at 92.2 mph. And even though he tries to fashion himself as a groundball pitcher, opposing batters have hit above .300 in three of his four seasons in the majors when facing his sinker.

When you look at the numbers, it’s clear that Zeuch isn’t doing anything to overwhelm hitters. For example, hitters have been able to make contact on 70.1% of pitches outside the strike zone throughout Zeuch’s career.

And although he can get ahead of hitters, as evidenced by a 60.6% first-pitch strike rate, finishing them off is another issue. According to Baseball Savant’s Statcast, none of the pitches in Zeuch’s arsenal ever generated a putaway rate greater than 25% since his time in the majors.

Although my model makes the Phillies a significant favorite in this contest, I generally like to have a few more data points before fully committing to my projections.

While this game won’t make my official card today, I’d have to lean again to the Phillies covering the first five run-line.

According to EV Analytics, the Reds are just 1-4 in this spot over their past five games and 3-7 in their past ten games.

You can grab Philadelphia at -0.5/-128 to lead after five innings at FanDuel.

Phillies vs. Reds pick

Lean Phillies F5 RL -0.5 (-128)

» READ MORE: NBA Championship Futures: Buy or sell the 76ers in the Eastern Conference?

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.