- Minnesota and Cincinnati are 15-15 all-time in head-to-head games following Tuesday night’s series opener
- The Reds are a -200 favorite to win Game 2 of the series, slated to take place at 12:35 pm on Wednesday, August 4
- Read on for a preview, full odds and a best bet for this interleague clash
The Minnesota Twins (45-62, 21-32 away) visit the Cincinnati Reds (56-51, 26-27 home) for final meeting of a brief two-game interleague series on Wednesday, August 4, with the Twins looking to put the finishing touches on the sweep after Tuesday night’s 7-5 victory at Great American Ball Park. Minnesota’s win actually dropped the Reds to 3-4 all-time against the Twins at Cincinnati’s current home park, where the Reds also have a losing record this season.
But given that the Reds are still a red-hot 17-11 since July 1, Cincinnati is a -200 favorite to win the second game of the series, which sees the home side’s Luis Castillo going up against left-hander Charlie Barnes for the Twins.
Twins vs Reds Odds
|Minnesota Twins||+170||+1.5 (-115)||Over 9.5 (-115)|
|Cincinnati Reds||-200||-1.5 (-105)||Under 9.5 (-105)|
Odds as of August 4th at DraftKings.
Twins rookie Barnes is set to make just his second career start and appearance on Wednesday, having been called up on July 31. The 25-year-old left-hander made his MLB debut in the first game of a doubleheader in Detroit last month, taking the loss despite giving up just one run on four hits. In the process, he became just the second pitcher in Twins history to allow one or fewer runs and take a loss.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 17, 2021
However, one thing in his favor is that none of the Cincinnati batters has ever faced him in a major-league game, and so he will come into this game flying very much under the radar as an unknown quantity, which could work to his advantage.
He will be facing a Reds team that is rolling when it comes to plating runs, however. Including Tuesday’s 7-5 loss, Cincinnati has scored at least five runs in 10 of its last 11 games. That streak included a stretch of eight straight games with at least five runs, a stretch that was halted in a 5-4 loss to the Mets on Saturday.
Joey Votto is the 𝟴𝘁𝗵 player in MLB history to homer in SEVEN consecutive games! 🐐 pic.twitter.com/XA68DoWbny
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 31, 2021
And of course, he’ll have to watch out for the ageless wonder that is Joey Votto. The Canadian first baseman has been absolutely lights-out of late, with nine of his last 11 hits sailing over the outfield fence for home runs. That made him the second-oldest player since 1900 with a home run streak of seven or more consecutive games, trailing only Barry Bonds, who did it at 39.
Barnes vs Castillo
Castillo’s 2021 campaign has really been a tale of two parts. On paper, the 5-10 record with a 4.22 ERA doesn’t look overly dominant, but a deeper dive shows that the right-hander has really turned his season around after a very lackluster start.
Luis Castillo has been lights out since June 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BDRFSrjm88
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 29, 2021
He went 1-8 with a 7.22 ERA over his first 11 starts through May, but has gone 4-2 with a 1.95 ERA since then. In fact, his 1.95 ERA since June 1 is the second-best such mark in Major League Baseball. Castillo is very much the ace of this Cincinnati staff, with the most starts (112), wins (37) and strikeouts (699) on the staff since his MLB debut in 2017.
Luis Castillo, 99mph Front Door & Back Door Two Seamers, Individual Pitches + Overlay. 😯 pic.twitter.com/kQN1VWey57
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 29, 2021
However, he has had to endure two less-than-stellar outings against the Twins in his career, surrendering nine earned runs over a combined five innings in two starts in Minnesota.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Twins Batters||Batting Average vs Luis Castillo|
Despite a spotty record against the Twins in seasons past, Castillo is due a quality start against them soon. The right-hander is second on the Reds in quality starts this season behind only Wade Miley, going 7-3 in such outings.
Twins vs Reds Pick
The Twins may have drawn first blood in the series with a win Tuesday night, but all signs point to a Reds win in the Wednesday matinee. With Castillo in a rich vein of form and a Cincinnati team that is scoring runs for fun, look for the Reds to triumph here, and likely keeping the scoreboard turning for much of the game too.
Picks: Reds (-200) and Over 9.5 (-115)