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Mets vs. Reds Tuesday MLB probable pitchers, odds, props: Max Scherzer set at 6.5 strikeouts in return from injured list

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer returns for the Mets tonight in Cincinnati.
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That the New York Mets are 50-30 despite not having three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer available since mid-May or two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom at all so far this season is awfully impressive and probably should put a bit of a scare into the rest of the NL East, if not the entire National League. Scherzer will return tonight in Cincinnati and is listed at over/under 6.5 strikeouts at Caesars Sportsbook.

Scherzer (5-1, 2.54 ERA) was the Cy Young favorite following his most recent big-league start on May 18 when he allowed one earned run over 5.2 innings vs. St. Louis. Alas, the 37-year-old suffered an oblique injury. Those aren't good for anyone, and can be particularly troublesome for pitchers given all the torque they put on that muscle.

To go Over 6.5 strikeouts, Scherzer is going to obviously have to be out there for a while tonight. He threw 65 pitches in his first rehab start at Double-A Binghamton and then 80 in his second. He's hoping for about 90 pitches and/or six innings tonight.

"It's one of those things that you can't predict," Scherzer said. "Baseball, you can't predict how you're going to feel with everything. You've just got to stay in the moment."

Obviously, one high-pitch inning could change everything. Scherzer hasn't faced the Reds this year and is 6-2 with a 1.84 ERA in 58.2 career innings against them. That ERA is tied for the ninth-lowest mark among all pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched against the franchise since the earned run became official in 1913.

The 2022 Reds offense rank 14th in the majors 676 strikeouts. They whiffed 11 times overall in Monday's 7-4 loss to New York and Mets starter Taijuan Walker had nine of those 11 strikeouts.

It's not clear whether Cincinnati shortstop Kyle Farmer will play tonight. He was hit on the left hand by a pitch Saturday and hasn't made an appearance since. Catcher Aramis Garcia returned to the lineup Monday following a four-game absence due to a left middle finger contusion but was forced to depart early after taking a backswing to the left elbow.

Rookie lefty Nick Lodolo (1-2, 5.52 ERA) will be activated off the 60-day injured list (back strain) and start for the Reds. His final rehab start was last Wednesday at Triple-A Louisville and he allowed one earned run in 4.2 innings. MLB.com ranks Lodolo as the No. 30 prospect in the sport. He hasn't faced the Mets and is given an Over/Under of 4.5 strikeouts.

The Mets are -210 favorites on the moneyline. 

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