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The Mets and Reds continue their series from the Great American Ball Park tonight, and MLB expert Mike Spector makes his case why a play on the total provides the best value.

Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets Prediction: Will Max Scherzer and Nick Lodolo Be Rusty in Their Returns?

Tuesday’s matchup between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds is not one of the sexiest on a full MLB slate. Still, it has much more drama than it usually should, with the anticipation of one of the best pitchers in baseball returning from a long injury. 

Mets co-ace Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.54) is making his first start since May 18, when he went on the IL with a strained left oblique muscle. Will the future first-ballot Hall of Famer pick up right where he left off before the injury, or will there be an adjustment period as he toes the rubber for the first time after a long layoff? Read on for our best play and odds for Tuesday’s National League tilt between the Mets and Reds.

Reds vs. Mets Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: July 5, 2022
  • Game Time: 6:40 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: MLB.TV

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Reds vs. Mets Line Movement


Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets Prediction

Scherzer has reportedly told the media he wants to throw around 90 pitches, which would likely result in a maximum of six innings if he were economical with his pitches. However, given that their other ace, Jacob deGrom, remains out with an injury of his own, we would not be surprised to see Buck Showalter and the rest of the Mets coaching staff is more cautious with Scherzer in this start. Thus, Cincinnati should see more of the Mets bullpen than they usually see, and considering Scherzer allowed three runs in 4.2 innings in his last rehab start at Double-A, it may take him more time to get re-acclimated to his role.

New York’s struggles on offense were the primary reason for its recent stretch of losing four out of five games. The Mets scored just ten total runs in that span, but two of those games were against a top-two pitching staff (Houston), and another was against one of the A.L.’s best pitchers this year (Martin Perez). By comparison, facing a Reds pitching staff that ranks dead-last in the league with a 5.54 ERA should seem like a walk in the park. Right on cue, the Mets took advantage of Cincinnati’s poor pitching in the series opener, erupting for seven runs, including home runs from Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor. 

Thus, even if Scherzer looks like his old self, New York is more than capable of accounting for most of the projected runs total. The Mets rank 21st in slugging against left-handing pitching since the start of June but are in the top half of the league in wRC+. Regardless, Nick Lodolo (1-2, 5.52) is also coming off a long lay-off of his own (he has not pitched since April 24), and he should be even rustier than Scherzer.

Each of the Mets’ last five night games against National League opponents has gone over the projected total, and that is what we expect to happen again tonight.

Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets Pick

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Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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