Nick Castellanos plays his first game inside Great American Ball Park since he left the Cincinnati Reds for the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
Castellanos comes into Cincinnati on a four-game hitting streak and he has a favorable matchup going for him against Mike Minor.
The Phillies outfielder has a .364 career batting average and two solo home runs against the Reds' experienced southpaw in 11 at-bats.
Add in some hitter-friendly conditions in Cincinnati and you have the potential for Castellanos to return with a bang and to be accompanied by his teammates in the scoring column.
Monday MLB Picks
August Record: 12-19
To Hit a Home Run (+320)
Over 1.5 Total Bases (+100)
Nick Castellanos has finally started to see the ball well at the plate.
Castellanos has 11 hits in 40 at-bats in August with 18 total bases, but the one thing that he has lacked is a consistent extra-base threat. He has two home runs and one double in August.
Monday presents Castellanos with a great chance to start a power outbreak. He faces Mike Minor, who he has two home runs against, and will be playing inside a home run-friendly ball park in Cincinnati, where he hit 23 long balls last season.
Minor allowed six home runs in his last four starts and he was tagged for seven earned runs on 10 hits in 10.2 innings in his last two outings.
Minor has average stuff at best at this stage in his career and he could give up a lopsided run total to Castellanos and a Phillies lineup looking to put the weekend series in New York in the past.
Over 4.5 Hits Allowed (+100)
Over 2.5 Earned Runs (+135)
Spencer Strider enraged the New York Mets fan base and organization with his comments last week about the Mets having "a lot of luck offensively."
Well, Strider probably should have thought out the timing of those comments more. He faces the Mets for the second time this month on Monday inside Truist Park.
New York chased Strider in the third inning on August 7 behind six hits and four earned runs. That outing continued a downfall in form for the Atlanta rookie.
Strider gave up five earned runs on four hits in four innings against Washington on July 17 and he produced over seven strikeouts once in his last four starts.
The league has a deeper book on Strider and he is getting toward his innings limit. Do not be surprised if Jake Odorizzi or the rehabbing Mike Soroka get playoff starts ahead of the rookie if he suffers some arm fatigue in the next month.
As for Monday, the Mets should have their bats ready to chase Strider early again. The Mets scored 31 runs against the Braves in their recent five-game series and their offense could do even more damage with an extra bit of motivation to shut up Strider.