The Cincinnati Reds have had some excellent starting pitchers over the years, led by Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Yet no Reds hurler has ever had three straight double-digit strikeout games. That could change on Thursday night with fireballing Hunter Greene on the mound in Boston against the Red Sox, although Greene is set at a rather low over/under of 6.5 strikeouts at Caesars Sportsbook.
It's starting to look as if the Reds were smart to sign Greene (1-4, 4.18 ERA) on a long-term extension back in April worth as much as $96.2 million. Greene may have only gotten better since then. Two starts ago, he struck out 10 Yankees over six innings in a tough-luck loss. He followed that up by striking out 11 Cubs for his first win of the season.
Greene threw six no-hit innings at Wrigley Field but was never going to be given a shot to finish the no-no vs. Chicago as he already was at 110 pitches through six innings – his control can still be a problem. During a start against the Pirates in his 2022 rookie season, Greene went 7 1/3 innings without allowing a hit before being pulled for a reliever. Greene has only completed more than six innings in four of his 35 career starts. He is eighth in the majors with 80 strikeouts this year.
Greene does have two other double-digit strikeout games this year: April 29 in Oakland and April 12 in Atlanta. His lone start against Boston came exactly one year ago today at Fenway Park. He allowed four runs and six hits over 3.2 innings with eight Ks in a loss.
The Reds are +145 tonight despite a five-game winning streak as they try for the sweep. On April 23, the Reds were eight games under .500 an d 8.5 games out of first in the NL Central. Since then, Cincinnati has the division's best record at 19-14 and is three games out of first.
Lefty Chris Sale (5-2, 4.72 ERA) starts for Boston. He has been dominant in his last five starts, going 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA, striking out 35 batters with four walks in 32 1/3 innings. Sale opened the year with a 11.25 ERA his first three starts, allowing 25 baserunners in 12 innings. Cincinnati is the lone team Sale has yet to face.
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