Partner Content | Reds vs. Blue Jays picks and odds: Expect Manoah to drive down the score again

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The Toronto Blue Jays have the chance to secure their second straight series win on May 21 if they can top the lowly Cincinnati Reds.

The pregame narrative: Alek Manoah will start for Toronto hoping to produce his 12th straight appearance with two or fewer earned runs allowed, while the Reds counter with Hunter Greene — who’s coming off a hitless 7.1 inning outing.

Here are our top Reds vs. Blue Jays picks.

Reds vs. Blue Jays picks overview

  • Under 8 runs (-107)
  • Hunter Greene over 5.5 strikeouts (-124)
  • Under 2.5 runs, first three innings (-115)

Reds vs. Blue Jays picks

Best bet: Under 8 runs (-107)


When Manoah takes the mound, the under is almost always your friend. The over has only hit once while he’s started this season, and 33% of the time in his young MLB career.

The right-hander’s 1.71 ERA is sterling, and his 2.41 xERA shows it’s backed by strong contact suppression. His chances for a shutdown outing against a punchless lineup that’s hit .219/.293/.352 this season are undeniably high.

A bigger worry for this wager is an offensive outburst for the Blue Jays against a Reds starter with a 6.21 ERA.

Greene isn’t your average struggling starter, though, as the rookie throws harder than anyone in the league. In his last two starts he’s allowed three earned runs in 12.1 innings with 15 K’s to his name. That’s coincided with increased slider usage — a pitch opponents are hitting .070 against this season with 24 strikeouts:

Not only do the Blue Jays have to grapple with a 98.4 mph fastball and nasty slider, they’re also ill-equipped to capitalize on Greene’s greatest weakness. The right-hander tends to get in trouble by walking hitters (5.40 BB/9), but Toronto has the 27th-ranked walk rate in the majors (7.3%) and is unlikely to make him consistently pay for spotty control.

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Manoah should work his run suppression magic and Greene is a far more dangerous opponent than his season-long stats indicate. That should make for a long day for anyone picking up a bat.

Key stat: There have been an average of 5.14 runs per game in Manoah’s starts this season with the under hitting six out of seven times.

Read more: How to bet on the Blue Jays

Quick picks

Greene over 5.5 strikeouts (-124): Armed with a fastball that averages 98.4 mph, Greene consistently misses bats — even if the rest of his game is inconsistent. The fireballer has cleared this prop in six of his seven starts, while the Blue Jays’ team strikeout rate (22.4%) is right in the middle of the pack. They’re unlikely to push the needle in one direction or the other, meaning Greene should continue his established pattern of racking up K’s.

Under 2.5 runs, first three innings (-115): On Manoah’s end, almost any under bet seems like a good one, especially against a woeful Reds lineup. That makes the Greene side of this equation the risky one, but the rookie has been excellent the first time through the order allowing opposing hitters to slash just .189/.317/.377. Manoah and Greene’s combined ERA the first time through the order this season is 2.05.

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Odds courtesy of Sportradar, via NorthStar Bets, as of 8:23 a.m. ET


Nick Ashbourne writes about sports betting for NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, the Star’s parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @NickAshbourne

Disclaimer This content was produced as part of a partnership and therefore it may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.

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