Reds Hit Road
Johnny Cueto's swift rise from Single-A to the Cincinnati Reds' rotation took less than a year.
After his first major league start, he didn't leave much room for improvement.
Cueto can't hope for more than a duplicate of his dominating debut when the Reds begin their first road trip of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Milwaukee -105 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 61% of bets for this game have been placed on Cincinnati -105 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
A year ago, Cueto (1-0, 1.29 ERA) was pitching for Single-A Sarasota of the Florida State League. He rose to Triple-A Louisville by the end of last season, compiling a 2.05 ERA in four starts there while striking out 21 in 22 innings.
After an impressive spring, the 22-year-old right-hander made it to Cincinnati. He didn't disappoint in his debut, retiring 21 of 22 batters in seven innings against Arizona last Thursday.
"The way he was throwing the ball today has no age," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Cueto struck out 10 - becoming the first Reds rookie since 1900 to do that in his first start - and allowed only Justin Upton's solo home run, retiring the first 15 batters he faced in a 3-2 Reds win.
His 96 mph fastball helped him strike out eight of the first 13 batters, and he's already drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez due to his similar 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame.
"The guys on the bench were saying they haven't seen anything like this in a long time," Baker said. "I guess it's something they've never seen, and there's a lot they still haven't seen from this young man."
Cueto will try to stop the Brewers from winning six of their first seven games for the first time since 1998. Milwaukee (5-1) also started quickly last season, jumping out to a 24-10 mark before blowing an 8 1-2 game NL Central lead to the Chicago Cubs down the stretch.
"I just think this year, we're more experienced," Brewers manager Ned Yost told the team's official Web site. "Some of the things that I see us doing are products of that experience, which is a really good sign."
The Brewers scored 25 runs in a three-game home sweep of San Francisco, with Ryan Braun and Gabe Kapler leading the way. Braun, the reigning NL rookie of the year, went 5-for-9 with two home runs and four RBIs in the last two games, while Kapler - who spent last season managing a minor league team - was 6-for-10 with two homers and five RBIs in the series.
Both players homered for the second straight game in a 7-0 win over San Francisco on Sunday.
Milwaukee is averaging 6.7 runs even though Prince Fielder has yet to homer. However, Fielder - who hit 50 home runs last year - has a hit in every game this season.
"There's no easy out in that lineup," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Cueto will be opposed by Jeff Suppan (1-0, 2.84). The right-hander allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings to earn the win in the Brewers' 8-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday.
Suppan has struggled against the Reds, though, going 3-2 with a 6.05 ERA in 11 career starts.
The Reds (4-3) split their four-game series against Philadelphia over the weekend, losing 5-3 and managing only five hits in Monday's finale. They'll play their next nine games on the road, where they were just 33-48 last year.
Milwaukee and Cincinnati have split 34 games over the past two seasons.
Here are some top trends for today's matchup:
-MILWAUKEE is 52-25 (+21.5 Units) against the money line at home when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last 3 seasons.
-CINCINNATI is 418-473 (+56.2 Units) against the money line in road games since 1997.
by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us
More MLB Baseball coverage from theSpread.com
- MLB news wire
- Current MLB Injuries
- 2007 MLB standings
- 2007 MLB schedule
- 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
- 2007 MLB stats
- MLB scoreboard
- Expert MLB picks
- Accuscore predictions
- Comments and discussion
- Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
- MLB home