1U Jordan Lyles (KCR) over 2.5 earned runs allowed (-125) available at BetMGM sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Still available for -135 odds at Caesars sportsbook. Also fine with Reds F5 TT O2.5 at DraftKings for less juice.
Jordan Lyles has always been good enough to find another job, but bad enough to warrant a fade most trips to the mound. His career long ERA starts with a 5, and this season is sits at a putrid 6.84 mark. While his results haven't been pretty most seasons, this may actually be his worst year to date. A 6.01 FIP is the worst of his career while his ground ball rate is a career low 30.9% mark. That low ground ball rate coincides with an alarming 11.9%-barrel rate, his 2nd straight season with a double-digit barrel rate allowed. That mark ranks 11th percentile. He has also issued multiple free passes in 8 separate starts this season including 5 outings with 3 or more.
I typically do not look to bet overs on earned run props, as the pitcher can shelled but have an error lead to numerous unearned runs and a lost bet. While this is a valid concern, that risk was weighed in making my decision. If that concern paired with the juice is prohibitive, I would pivot to the Reds first 5 innings team total. You get the same number but at less juice. The reason I prefer earned runs, however, is Jordan Lyles struggles the most the 3rd time through the order. He also has a long enough leash to routinely see batters the 3rd time through, unless the first 2 times through have been so bad he needs to be pulled. His leash is reflected in his 17.5 outs prop, a line he has reached 5 times including 4 times where he pitches into the 7th and twice where he pitched 8 or more innings.
Kansas City's bullpen is pretty taxed. Carlos Hernandez pitched 3 of the last 4 days and is likely unavailable. Taylor Clarke and Scott Barlow have each pitched 2 of the last 3 nights including 28 and 17 pitches in last night's game respectively. Nick Wittgren has pitched 2 of the last 3 nights as well, although he did get yesterday off. Jose Cuas and Aroldis Chapman both pitched yesterday and while they are likely available tonight, they aren't as fresh as they could be. The Royals would love to get 6 or more innings from their veteran arm tonight. When Lyles has pitched deep into games this season it hasn't necessarily been due to good performance, as his 3 longest outings have all resulted in at least 3 earned runs. Overall, in Lyles' last 12 starts he has surrendered 3 or more earned runs 11 times, allowing a combined 55 earned runs.
In 74 PA against Lyles the 3rd time through, opponents have posted a 1.009 OPS with 7 home runs. Those 7 home runs are among the 18 he has allowed this season, a league leading mark. His issues with the long ball have spread throughout his entire 6-pitch arsenal, allowing at least 1 home run with each pitch and 2 or more on 5 of them. They are all just getting crushed with the exception of his curveball. The league average xwOBA mark across all pitches is .315. Lyles has allowed xwOBA's of .340, .344, .287 (CB), .370, .398, and .487 across his repertoire.
Cincinnati has been crushing right-handed pitching for the last 5 weeks with impressive consistency. Since May 5th they have faced 24 right-handed starting pitchers. 16 of those pitchers have allowed 3 or more earned runs including 8 of the last 10 they have seen. During that span they rank 6th in wOBA against those right-handed pitchers. Sure, they play in a hitter-friendly ballpark, but even when on the road in that span they rank 2nd in wOBA, 9th in ISO, and have a wRC+ of 129 across 443 PA. 6 of the last 8 right-handed starters they have faced on the road have allowed 3 or more earned runs. Weather at Kauffman is conducive to runs anyway, as Ballpark Pal is projecting them for a 5% boost in extra base hits and 2% boost in overall runs scored thanks to warm temperatures and wind blowing out.
Rookie studs in Matt McLain (.883 OPS) and Elly De La Cruz (.925 OPS) have energized this youthful lineup since being called up. They both add elite sprint speed to an already fast lineup that ranks 3rd in stolen bases per game. Fellow rookie Spencer Steer has been in a bit of a slump but has been extremely productive over the course of the season with an .829 OPS and his 35 RBI ranking 2nd on the team. Another rookie in Will Benson has also been producing, posting an .868 OPS this month including 5 hits and a walk his last 13 PA. Jonathan India and TJ Friedl are solid table setters at the top of the order and when healthy Tyler Stephenson is a plus hitter from the catcher position. Look for the new-look Reds to score 3 or more earned runs off Jordan Lyles tonight.