Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Guardians Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 5/18/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Where to watch: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Great Lakes

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Odds not available at time of publishing
BetMGM: Odds not available at time of publishing
Caesars:Odds not available at time of publishing

Season record
Reds: 10-26
Guardians: 16-18

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Reds - Guardians preview and analysis


Reds analysis


It hasn't been the greatest time for the Cincinnati Reds this season. We've said as much that they should be relegated for such atrocity that they've put forth on the diamond after breaking up what was almost a playoff team last season.

Alas, here we are and the Reds continue to find ways to win, starting with a 5-4, 10-inning victory over the Cleveland Guardians. And how did they win that game you ask? After allowing a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game? A go-ahead walk in the 10th inning.

But that was all rookie contact Alexis Diaz earning his first career save to preserve the win. And he did so by striking out Guardians All-Star Jose Ramirez.

"Obviously he had a lot of adrenaline tonight, but he handled that really well," Reds manager David Bell said of Díaz. "To start with runners on second base, he hasn’t experienced that at the Major League level. It was great stuff to get a couple outs. The thing that was really impressive was how he walked a couple guys and then, against one of the best hitters in the game, he got behind and made incredible pitches."

Tyler Stephenson continued his tremendous season by going 2-for-5 with an RBI, bumping his batting average to a staggering .329. Kyle Farmer also went 3-for-3, and Tyler Naquin went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the third inning.

There hasn't been much to enjoy with the Reds this season, but getting wins like this helps to a degree.

Guardians analysis


The Cleveland Guardians aren't as good as I think we hoped for them to be, and the fact that game against the Reds turned the way it did is ... quite literally the microcosm to describe this. A go-ahead walk in the 10th by the Reds, and followed by a rookie getting the save, is about as pure Cleveland as you could get.

“Those things happen,” Guardians acting manager and pitching coach Carl Willis said. “No one’s trying to do that. No one’s perfect. But it was just unfortunate that Nick lost the strike zone there for a couple hitters and it made a difference. When you start the inning with a man on second base, that’s difficult.”

The Guardians were held to just five hits, the biggest coming off the bat of Owen Miller in the bottom of the ninth to hit a game-tying two-run homer. Zach Plesac had a terrific start, just giving up only two runs in six innings and only striking out three.

The Guardians are just not that good. There's no other way around it. Funny enough we should say this after the Reds win, but man, it's really hasn't been fun for Cleveland since the day they came within a few outs of winning the World Series. Between the Marlins World Series and the Cubs matchup, it's just been one long-standing curse for the Guardians franchise.

One of these days they'll get it together.

Prediction


At the very least, I do think the Guardians bounce back and win this one. Losing two in a row to the Reds can't be good for that franchise's mental health. There's also the fact Terry Francona hasn't been on the bench unfortunately due to COVID, so that continues to be a rough part for this group. But the Guardians will get themselves a good win. Guardians win 6-4

Betting trends


Reds are 3-16 this season as a road underdog.

Reds are 4-17 this season in night games.

Guardians are 6-1 as a favorite of -110 or higher this season.

Projected lineup


Reds:
TJ Friedl (L) CF
Brandon Drury (R) 3B
Tommy Pham (R) LF
Mike Moustakas (L) DH
Tyler Stephenson (R) C
Colin Moran (L) 1B
Tyler Naquin (L) RF
Kyle Farmer (R) SS
Matt Reynolds (R) 2B
SP - Connor Overton

Guardians:
Myles Straw (R) CF
Steven Kwan (L) LF
Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
Owen Miller (R) 1B
Amed Rosario (R) SS
Andres Gimenez (L) 2B
Richie Palacios (L) DH
Oscar Mercado (R) RF
Austin Hedges (R) C
SP - Cal Quantrill

Statistical leaders


Reds:
Batting average: Tyler Naquin -- .257
Hits: Tommy Pham -- 29
Home runs: Brandon Drury -- 7
RBI: Brandon Drury -- 22
Wins: Two tied -- 2
Saves: Four tied -- 1
ERA: Tyler Mahle -- 5.89

Guardians:
Batting average: Owen Miller -- .296
Hits: Jose Ramirez -- 36
Home runs: Jose Ramirez -- 8
RBI: Jose Ramirez -- 33
Wins: Nick Sandlin -- 3
Saves: Emmanuel Clase -- 7
ERA: Triston McKenzie -- 2.97

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert MLB picks today. And if you enjoyed this Cincinnati Reds - Cleveland Guardians preview, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and predictions.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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