The Toronto Blue Jays host the 11-27 Cincinnati Reds on May 21 hoping to earn their fourth win in five games behind super sophomore Alek Manoah.
The pregame narrative: After winning 20 of Manoah’s first 24 MLB starts, the Blue Jays have dropped three straight with the big man on the hill. To reverse that trend they have to beat baseball’s hardest throwing pitcher.
Here are our top Reds vs. Blue Jays prop picks.
Reds vs. Blue Jays prop picks overview
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. over 0.5 RBI (+138)
- Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas both under 0.5 RBI (+108)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer both over 0.5 hits (+106)
Reds vs. Blue Jays prop picks
Best bet: Guerrero over 0.5 RBI (+138)
Strangely, Guerrero is simultaneously coming off a 15-game hitting streak and is in a bit of a funk. The slugger hasn’t generated an extra-base hit since May 5, and old concerns about his groundball rate have resurfaced in recent weeks.
In Reds starter Hunter Greene, he may have found the perfect opponent to help him shake loose of his problems pounding the ball into the dirt. Of the 117 pitchers who’ve thrown at least 30 innings in 2022 only one has allowed a lower groundball percentage than Greene’s 28.1%.
Greene’s 98.4 mph fastball, which he throws 54.2% of the time, should also be less intimidating to Guerrero than most other hitters. The 23-year-old was the best four-seam hitter in the game in 2021 according to Baseball Savant’s run value metric, and this year he’s hitting .323 against the pitch.
He’s also unflappable against top-end velocity. Guerrero is 5-for-11 in at-bats ending on fastballs 97 mph or higher this season, with 10 total bases. Only three hitters have more knocks than Vladdy against those pitches, and no one has taken more of them for extra bases.
The benefit of backing Guerrero on RBI props is that he’s a threat to bring himself home, but it’s also worth noting Springer is one of the league’s top four-seam hitters (+21 RV since the beginning of 2021), and the leadoff man could create traffic on the bases in front of him.
Read more: Reds vs. Blue Jays picks
Key stat: Guerrero has hit .424 on fastballs 97 mph or harder since the beginning of the 2021 season — including a .455 mark in 2022.
Votto and Moustakas both under 0.5 RBI (+108): While Votto and Moustakas are both accomplished veterans, they haven’t produced runs this season. The pair has combined for 13 RBI in 51 games and should have a tough time with Manoah on the mound. Only Votto has a prime lineup position, and he’s hit just .128/.277/.154 in 2022.
Guerrero and Springer both over 0.5 hits (+106): This is a wager on the Blue Jays’ top two fastball hitters to come through against Greene’s elite heat. Last year this pair combined for an astounding +50 run value on four-seamers in 2021. While their numbers aren’t quite as impressive against that offering in 2022 (combined +3 RV), we’re happy to bet on the longer track record.
Odds courtesy of Sportradar, via NorthStar Bets, as of 9:48 a.m. ET
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