Thanks to a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins last Friday, the Cincinnati Reds clinched a playoff berth in this weird and abbreviated MLB season.
It’s only the fifth time since 1991 that the Reds have made the postseason.
The team began its 2020 campaign as a popular futures pick, given the relatively long odds and the team having one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The Reds starters ended the season with the fourth-best ERA in MLB, a very solid 3.50. The team was widely ranked third in starting pitching before the season.
In mid-September, the Reds appeared unlikely to make the playoffs, but they won 11 of their last 14 games to salvage a 31-29 record. The Reds finished third in the National League Central Division, just three games behind the Cubs. The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, a game ahead of Cincinnati at 30-28.
The Reds will take a playoff appearance however they can get one, as the franchise last made the postseason in 2013. Could the Reds continue their hot streak and find themselves with their first World Series title since 1990? Indiana mobile sportsbooks are offering folks in the tri-state area some lines on the team’s playoff run.
BetMGM with the best price
If you’re going to bet on the Reds to win it all, BetMGM is your obvious choice, absent any promotional offers. The sportsbook is giving bettors +3500, for an implied probability of 2.78%. A total of 16 teams make the playoffs, and if all things were equal, every team would have a 6.25% chance. If you believe the Reds’ pitching staff can get the job done, +3500 might be worth a flier.
Cincinnati’s offense ranked 27th in the majors in runs scored and last in batting average, but the bats came alive recently. The team appears to be hitting its stride at just the right time.
“In the postseason, it has been proven many times that pitching is what carries teams — dominant pitching, guys that can miss bats, guys that can limit damage, guys that throw hard and have good stuff,” Reds ace Trevor Bauer said Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We believe in our pitching staff.”
Bauer also defended the team’s hitting in 2020: “Also, our offense has been one of the most unlucky offenses in who-knows-how-long. You can’t stay that unlucky forever. We’re playing a lot better as a team defensively, putting together good at-bats. The bullpen is pitching great. We’re very confident with where our team is. We feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”
The prices at other sportsbooks aren’t competitive with BetMGM’s.
DraftKings/BetRivers are offering +2600, with FanDuel at +2400 and PointsBet at +2000.
The Reds were +2500 before the season started at all of the aforementioned sportsbooks.
The books had the over/under win total at 31.5, and unfortunately for those taking the over, as many tri-state bettors probably did, the team fell just short.
The Reds face the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in their first playoff game.