Free MLB picks: Reds@ Padres; 10:40 PM

PETCO Park on Monday night. As the offense of Cincinnati Reds has come to a sticky stagnancy, another stingy and juicy performance from Mike Leake has become even more necessary. A very good pitching effort had bailed out the San Diego Padres in their latest contest, and they'll surely look to offer Cincinnati a fourth consecutive loss on Monday night. Cincinnati (59-47) has averaged about 6.2 runs and won seven of its previous nine, but it had scored just twice while losing the final three of its four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After plating a run each on Friday and Saturday, the Reds succumbed to 1-0 on Yasiel Puig's homer in the bottom of the 11th inning on Sunday. Brandon Phillips has gone 0 for 4 and ended it with a 1 for 13 for the series.

Weekly MLB picks expert reveals that Cincinnati's pitching staff is among the MLB's best with a 3.33 team ERA after striking out a franchise-record 20 on Sunday. They have allowed only eight earned runs against the Dodgers and now will depend on Leake who is 10-4 with a 2.73 ERA for another exemplary effort. Leake has already won three consecutive starts after allowing one run despite a career-worst dozen hits through six innings in an 8-3 win over San Francisco on last Wednesday. He had the second three-hit game of the current year but is now at 2 for 37 in the other 17 games he's batted. The right-hander is now at 8-2 with a 1.97 ERA over the last 13 starts he delivered. Leake's lone career start against San Diego didn't go quite well, though. He allowed total five runs and walked three in 1 2-3 innings of an 11-5 defeat on July 30, 2012 on that starting match.

Baseball predictions expert reports that the Reds have a record of winning six of the last seven clashes with the Padres, which completed a 6-4 road journey with a pair of series wins after a 1-0 victory over Arizona on Sunday. They will play at home for the first time in the second half. San Diego (48-58), though, needs a rocking pitching performance from Tyson Ross - who had allowed three hits in eight innings – so that the Padres could overshadow its inconsistent offense. It has scored only one run or none for three times in a five-game stretch, but managed to total 22 in winning the other two.

Weekly MLB picks expert reports that Carlos Quentin scored his 20th run of July on Sunday, and he'll look to assist enough support for Sean O'Sullivan, who looks to build off a solid outing. O’Sullivan who is at 0-2 with a 4.73ERA has made a pair of starts and appeared in three games since being recalled on July 12. This happened after the Padres had announced Clayton Richard would have a season-ending shoulder surgery. He had pitched quite well in his latest outing but still suffered a 3-1 loss after giving up three runs – out of which two were earned - in 6 1-3 innings on Wednesday at Milwaukee. That start was in replacement of Jason Marquis, who will undergo Tommy John surgery soon. He hasn’t faced the Reds yet, who have won six of their last eight in San Diego

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