MLB: Oswalt tries to continue dominance over Reds (7:10 PM ET, MLB TV)

MLB: Oswalt tries to continue dominance over Reds (7:10 PM ET, MLB TV)

Though Roy Oswalt has yet to win a game this season, there is no better team for him and Houston to face at this moment than Cincinnati. To say Oswalt has had success against the Reds is like saying the Cleveland Cavaliers had a pretty good home record th


2009-04-27

Though Roy Oswalt has yet to win a game this season, there is no better team for him and Houston to face at this moment than Cincinnati. To say Oswalt has had success against the Reds is like saying the Cleveland Cavaliers had a pretty good home record this season.

Oswalt (0-2, 4.68 ERA, 1.440 WHIP) is 23-1 over 29 career games, including 27 starts. He has a 2.39 career ERA versus the Reds. He last faced them on April 17, taking a no-decision after throwing six shutout innings. Overall, Houston (7-12, -5.1 Units) has won 22 of his 27 times he has taken the ball to begin a game against Cincinnati (10-8, +3.4) and is 11-1 in 16 road starts.

The Astros have not been playing good baseball, losing six of last 10, including dropping three of four against the Reds earlier this month. Houston despite a veteran lineup is not hitting, tied for last in baseball in runs scored at 3.5 per game. The Astros are 19-6 against the money line revenging two straight home losses vs opponent over the last three seasons.

Cincinnati has been a little more consistent and avoided being swept at home against Atlanta yesterday with 8-2 triumph. The Reds offense has been nominally better at 3.9 runs scored per game, though its batting average is quite a bit lower than Houston's (.233 vs .248). What has helped Cincinnati is better starting pitching, as in half their games the Reds have held opposition to three or less runs. The Cincy bullpen ERA is nothing special at 4.30, however when it has counted most, Francisco Cordero has led bullpen that is six for six in save opportunities.

The Reds are 31-50 (-26.8 Units) against the money line in home games after a win by six runs or more and give the ball to Johnny Cueto (1-1, 2.55, 1.188), who was brilliant in last outing. The 23-year old pitched seven scoreless innings against Chicago in 3-0 whitewashing for the win. Cueto allowed just four singles and didn't walk a batter, following instructions from pitching coach to stop nibbling and be aggressive.

Cueto has not enjoyed much success against Houston with 0-3 record and 6.75 ERA in five starts. He has been a victim and another reason why the Reds have lost 14 of 15 at home to Houston. Sportsbook.com has the Reds as -114 money line favorites with total Un8.5. If the line holds, this will mark the first time Oswalt has been underdog to Cincinnati, with the Astros having won 12 of his last 17 starts. Houston is 10-2 UNDER as an underdog of +100 to +150 this season.

The Reds have not excelled as favorites at -150 or less, with 2-5 mark and are 7-2 UNDER if Cueto starts after scoring five or more runs.

The Central Division action starts at 7:10 Eastern in both local markets and on MLB.TV, with Oswalt and 'Stros 2-6 on the road against teams with winning records.

StatFox Power Line - Houston -109

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