MLB Bets for Friday, April 16: Cincinnati to Win Series Opener vs. Cleveland

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking previews Friday's MLB betting action and shares the two top picks on his baseball betting card
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Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds

Interleague action sets up an in-state rivalry showdown when Cleveland and Cincinnati open a three-game series tonight. The first pitch for the Indians vs. Reds matchup is at 7:10 p.m. ET at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is the first of six meetings this season. These teams met four times during a home-and-home series in August last year. The Reds posted a 3–2 win before losing 4–2 in two games played in Cincinnati. The Indians stifled the Reds’ offense during 2–0, and 13–0 shutout wins in Cleveland. Cincinnati is aiming to snap a streak of 23 scoreless innings against Cleveland.

Cincinnati (7–5) is tied for first in the NL Central Division with the Milwaukee Brewers. Following an Opening Day loss, 11–6 at home against St. Louis, the Reds went on a six-game winning streak. They rebounded with 9–6 and 12–1 victories to win the series against the Cardinals. That was followed by a series at home against Pittsburgh, and the Reds outscored the Pirates 30–8 during a three-game sweep. Heading out on the road, Cincinnati struggled during 2–1 series losses in Arizona and San Francisco. The Reds were outscored 20–9 by the Diamondbacks and 10–9 by the Giants.

Cleveland (7–5) opened the season with two losses (3–2 and 5–2) in Detroit. They avoided a sweep with a 9–3 win in the third game. That was followed by a 3–0 loss and a 4–2 win at home against Kansas City. Cleveland then hosted Detroit and outscored the Tigers 20–6 during a three-game sweep. The Indians return home from a four-game series in Chicago. After splitting the first two contests, Carlos Rodón tossed a no-hitter during the White Sox 8–0 win in the third game. Cleveland posted a 4–2 win in the series finale last night. The Indians are struggling with a .198 team batting average.

RHP Jeff Hoffman (1–1, 3.86 ERA) makes his third start for Cincinnati. On three hits over five innings, he allowed one run during the Reds’ 12–1 win at home against St. Louis on April 4. In his second start, Hoffman allowed three runs, on six hits over 4.1 innings, during the Reds 8–3 loss in Arizona on April 10. LHP Logan Allen (1–1, 2.70 ERA) gets the start for Cleveland. On five hits over five innings, he allowed two runs in the Indians’ 3–0 loss to the Royals on April 5. Allen then held Detroit to one run, on just two hits over five innings, during the Indians 5–2 win in his second start on April 11.

Pick: Cincinnati Reds (-107) moneyline

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:10 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:10 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

A highly anticipated National League West series begins when Los Angeles and San Diego meet for the first time. Game time for the Dodgers vs. Padres contest is slated for 10:10 p.m. ET at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. This is the first of 19 meetings between the top two favorites to win the NL West Division. Los Angeles won the regular-season series 6–4 last year, and the Dodgers were 4–2 in games played at Petco Park. These teams last met in the 2020 NL Divisional Series playoffs. Los Angeles outscored San Diego by a 23­–9 margin and won the series with a three-game sweep.

San Diego (9–5) is third in the NL West standings and trails Los Angeles by 2.5 games. The Padres return home following a 2-2 series split in Pittsburgh. San Diego won the first game 6–2, and the Pirates won the next two 8–4 and 5–1. The Padres closed out the series with an 8–3 win yesterday. Before that, San Diego outscored the Rangers 12–4 during a three-game sweep in Texas. San Diego opened their season at home with a 3–1 series win against Arizona and a 2–1 series loss to San Francisco. Dating back to the 2019 season, the Padres are 4–12 over 16 home games against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles (11–2) is riding a six-game winning streak and ranks first overall in the MLB standings. Showing no signs of a World Series hangover, the Dodgers opened their season with a 3-1 series win in Colorado and a 2–1 series win in Oakland. Prior to their home opener, on April 9 against Washington, Los Angeles celebrated their first MLB championship since 1988. It was a successful return home, as the Dodgers outscored the Nationals 13–5 during a three-game sweep. That was followed by a three-game sweep of Colorado as the Dodgers outscored the Rockies by an 18–7 margin.

RHP Walker Buehler (1–0, 1.50 ERA) makes his third start for Los Angeles. He allowed two runs on four hits over six innings and took a no-decision in the Dodgers 6–5 win in Colorado on April 3. Buehler gave up six hits, over six scoreless innings, and earned the win in Dodgers’ home opener in his second start. Rookie LHP Ryan Weathers (1–0, 1.50 ERA) makes the first start of his career for San Diego. On two hits over six innings, he has allowed one run during three relief appearances this season. Backing the better pitcher, plus the hotter offense, lay the run line and bet on Los Angeles.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+108)

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 10:10 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 10:10 p.m. ET

2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 6–12 (-7.7 Units)