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Reds’ World Series Odds Get Big Boost After Sweeping Astros

Joey Votto warming up.
Joey Votto is having one of the worst seasons of his career, but his Reds have a high ceiling, especially if the 2010 NL MVP and six-time All-Star can turn things around. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).
  • The Cincinnati Reds have gained significant ground in the World Series odds since sweeping the Houston Astros
  • The Reds’ recent six-game win streak is their longest of the season, however, the club remains mired in last place in the NL Central
  • An upcoming stretch heavy with divisional matchups will be key to the Reds’ fortunes this season

For a second year in a row, the Cincinnati Reds have found their groove in mid-June. The Reds fueled a six-game win streak with last week’s three-game sweep of the visiting Houston Astros. They are now +6000 to win the World Series after sporting +13300 World Series odds just a week ago.

Odds to Win 2019 World Series

Team Odds to Win 2019 World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers +250
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +360
Minnesota Twins +800
Atlanta Braves +800
Chicago Cubs +1600
Boston Red Sox +2000
Tampa Bay Rays +2000
Milwaukee Brewers +2200
Cincinnati Reds +6000

*Odds taken June 26, 2019

Hot Pitching Fuels Reds’ Longest Win Streak of the Season

The Reds came out on the winning end of a trio of pitching duels with the Astros, tallying three straight one-run victories while limiting the AL West leaders to just 20 total hits during the series.

Cincinnati hitters also made big contributions during the club’s longest win streak of the season. The Reds backed up a solid performance by starter Sonny Gray in an 11-3 rout of the Texas Rangers to kick off the streak, and outgunned the Milwaukee Brewers by an 18-8 margin, while taking the first two games of their weekend series at Miller Park.

But while the Reds’ run provides Cincinnati baseball fans with something to cheer about, expectations should remain tempered about the club’s prospects for the second half of the season.

Reds Providing Little Pop at the Plate

The Reds sport a 19-17 record on home turf at Great American Ball Park, and have shown signs of respectability on the road, going 17-18 in 35 contests since losing their first seven road dates of the season. While that has left the Reds buried in last place in the NL Central standings, the club lags six games back of the Chicago Cubs for first place in baseball’s most underachieving division.

The Reds pitching staff has emerged as one of the best in baseball, compiling a third-ranked 3.63 team ERA, and sitting second to the Tampa Bay Rays in both home runs and total runs allowed.

The Reds’ pitching staff has emerged as one of the best in baseball, compiling a third-ranked 3.63 team ERA, and sitting second to the Tampa Bay Rays in both home runs and total runs allowed.

But despite their recent offensive outburst, Reds hitters have been abysmal at the plate this season, producing a 27th-ranked .235 batting average overall, while hitting an MLB-worst .225 on the road. Most notable among struggling Reds sluggers is Joey Votto, who remains on pace to produce some of the worst batting numbers of his career.

Consistency has also been a massive problem for the Reds. Prior to their six-game surge, the Reds had failed to win more than two in a row since early May, racking up a middling 22-26 record in 48 games since winning three straight during a visit to the Bay Area.

The club has also quickly rediscovered its losing ways, bringing their recent winning run to a screeching halt with three straight losses on the road, capped by a particularly shaky performance in a 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Upcoming Divisional Clashes Key to Reds’ Season

Cincinnati has also struggled in meetings with divisional rivals this season, going 13-19 to date. However, the Reds will soon have a golden opportunity to make up ground in the standings. Following Wednesday’s series finale with the Angels, the club returns to Cincinnati for a crucial nine-game home stand that features seven dates against the Brewers and Cubs.

The Reds have struggled in recent meetings with the Brewers. With their four-game series split last week in Milwaukee, the club is now 3-6 against the Brewers this season, extending a dismal stretch that has seen them go 9-19 against the Brew Crew since the start of the 2018 season.

Cincinnati has enjoyed much greater success against the Cubs, winning four of six meetings this season. The Reds could also be meeting Chicago again at an opportune time. The Cubs have struggled with consistency over the past two weeks, going 6-9 in 15 games ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting with the Atlanta Braves.

Cubs Remain the Elite of Underachieving NL Central

The Cubs have also been forced to endure a wave of injuries that has dramatically impacted their bullpen. However, help will soon be on the way, in the form of recently signed closer Craig Kimbrel, who could join the club in time for this weekend’s series versus the Reds.

Cubs’ batters have also shown signs of stirring from their recent slumber, averaging five runs per game during the club’s current 4-3 run after scoring three or fewer runs in six of their previous eight.

Chicago also sports an experienced lineup that has battled through adversity before, including several members of the 2016 squad that marched to an historic World Series victory, making the Cubs the best bet among NL Central squads to win this year’s World Series with attractive +1600 odds.

Pick: Cubs to win World Series (+1600)

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