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Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

The New York Mets are the slight favorites in the Big Apple tonight over the Cincinnati Reds, who are the surprise of this season so far still leading the NL Central.

Cincinnati Reds (48-37) at New York Mets (47-37) 7:10 PM on ESPN

Bovada has the Mets posted at -120 with the Reds at +110 with a run total of 8.5.

After a red-hit run a couple weeks back the Mets have cooled off, as they are coming off a win, are 5-5 in their last 10 games, but they still are in second place in the NL East only two games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Reds lost yesterday’s game, are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and have a two game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

In tonight’s rubber match in this series Cincinnati looks avoid their first back-to-back losses since a three-game skid June 18-20.

This season the Mets have the second best home record in the NL (29-13) while the Reds are one of the better road teams being three games over .500 away from Cincinnati (21-18).

In last night’s game between these two teams the Mets blanked the Reds 3-0.

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Taking the mound tonight for the Mets is Jonathon Niese (6-2 3.62 ERA), who was stellar in his last start going seven innings only giving up one earned run in a win. Reds’ starter Bronson Arroyo (8-4 4.25 ERA) was also great in his last start giving up zero earned runs in six innings of work earning a win.

Since Niese came off the DL on June 5th he has been the best starter for the Mets going 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA in six starts, which were all wins for New York.

The Mets are 10-2 in Niese’s last 12 starts, but he lost his only game against them giving up a career high 12 hits in a 5-4 loss at home in the beginning of May.

Niese will have to pitch well tonight against a Reds’ offense that ranks third in the Majors in batting average, HR’s, and RBI’s, and second in hits.

The Mets are 7-0 in Niese’s last seven home starts.

Arroyo is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA over his last four starts and in his career is 6-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 10 career starts against the Mets.

Cincinnati only has four losses in their last 15 games and are 4-0 in their last four games following a loss.

New York is 14-6 in their last 20 games against a right hand starter and is 0-6 in their last six games following a win.

The Reds have lost seven of their last 10 games in New York.

Things do not get any easier for the Reds on their current road trip, as tomorrow they begin a series with the defending NL champion Phillies. The Mets have a day off tomorrow, but Friday start a huge series hosting the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.