The Philadelphia Phillies (4-9) and Cincinnati Reds (5-7) meet for the second game of a four-game weekend set on Friday, April 14. First pitch from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio is set for 6:40 p.m. ET. Taijuan Walker (0-1, 6.00 ERA) looks to get on track after a bumpy start to his Phillies tenure, while Connor Overton (0-0, 10.13 ERA) gets the ball for the Reds.
The Phillies are currently listed as -150 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Reds are +130 underdogs. The run total is set at 10.
Phillies-Reds picks: Friday, April 14th
Out: SP Ranger Suarez (forearm), SP Cristopher Sanchez (triceps), RP Nick Nelson (hamstring), OF Bryce Harper (elbow), 1B Darick Hall (thumb)
Out: 1B Joey Votto (shoulder/biceps), RP Lucas Sims (back), RP Tony Santillan (back)
Taijuan Walker vs. Connor Overton
It’s safe to say this isn’t how Walker or the Phillies envisioned the start of his 2023 season going when they signed him this offseason. The righty has been roughed up twice to start the year, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks in 4.1 innings against the New York Yankees and two runs on three hits and a whopping five free passes in 4.2 frames against this same Cincinnati team last weekend. As you can probably tell from those numbers, the command has been an issue so far, as has the fact that the righty’s fastball velocity is noticeably down from last year.
Overton faced the Phillies last weekend, and things did not go well: four runs on six hits and three walks in just four innings of work. He also struggled badly in his first start at home against the Chicago Cubs (four innings, eight hits, five earned), and while he has shown some swing-and-miss ability, he’s hampered by a bad fastball that he has to try and work around to succeed.
Neither of these pitchers are throwing the ball very well at the moment, and when you combine that with the Great American Ballpark’s penchant for juicing run totals the over seems like a pretty safe play even at this inflated number — yesterday’s final score was 6-2, and that was with Cincy ace Nick Lodolo on the mound.
Pick: Over 10
Philly desperately needs a win here, and while it’s hard to have much faith in Walker, we think their offense will get it done. The Phillies lineup is much more effective against righties than lefties (the red-hot Brandon Marsh should be back in the lineup, for starters) and they’ve already had success against Overton this season.