After a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers last night at American Family Field, the Cincinnati Reds are returning in hopes of taking the second game of this four-game series heading into the All-Star break.
Both of these teams feature All-Stars who will head to Denver to participate in this year’s festivities, as Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker will both start in the outfield for the NL representing the Cincinnati Reds.
Castellanos has had a stellar season, with .335/.388/.589 as his slashing numbers to go along with 17 homers and 54 RBIs. Jesse Winker has been nearly as good from the plate, holding a .305 batting average with 19 home runs and 49 RBIs to help earn his starting nod.
Like the Reds candidates being both outfielders, the Brewers will be sending only pitchers. Starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff and reliever/closer Josh Hader both got nods for Denver and will definitely see time during the game.
Woodruff, in his 5th season, is 7-4 with an amazing ERA of 2.10. He has also struck out 127 batters in 107.1 innings of work. Josh Hader has been his usual spectacular self this season, appearing in 34 games and securing 20 saves. He holds a .80 ERA and has totaled 57 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
Keys to Second Matchup
This game will feature a lefty versus lefty matchup on the mound as the Cincinnati Reds will be sending out Wade Mikey for starting pitcher duties. The other lefty making his 12th appearance on the season will be Milwaukee’s Eric Lauer.
Wade Miley has a no-hitter to his name this season and overall holds a record of 6-4 with a 3.06 ERA.
Eric Lauer has not been spectacular for the Brewers this season, but he boasts a serviceable 3-3 record with a 4.11 ERA. In his last start, Lauer pitched a solid 6 and ⅓ innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 4 batters, and only allowing one earned run.
The Brewers are hoping for a repeat performance versus a Reds team who has been trying to catch them in the NL Central. Milwaukee is currently 7 games ahead of Cincinnati. Most of the blame for the Red’s 5-3 loss yesterday can be attributed to their offense that was only able to muster six hits.
However, that lackluster offensive performance came as a surprise since the Reds are averaging the 7th most runs in the league at an average of 4.92 runs per game. However, just recently, their pitching has led them to most of their six victories in their last eight games.
Cincinnati’s offense will continue to be hoping for a bounce-back game in this game on Friday versus a mediocre pitcher on the mound for the Brewers. As previously mentioned, All-Star Nick Castellanos has recorded a hit in each of the Reds’ last four outings, so I expect him to play a factor in tonight’s game as well.
Overall, the Brewers have been at the top of their game, winning 13 of their last 16 games, taking a stranglehold on the NL Central.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia has been a surprise for the Brewers, being their spearhead offensively with 15 homers, one of which he got last night to take the lead in the 8th. He has also totaled 51 RBIs up to this point in the season.
Milwaukee has been the better baseball team as of late, but the Reds have been doing their best to keep up.
Cincinnati has the better pitcher in this matchup which would lead me to have faith in them, but their offense would have to step up compared to their performances as of late, or Wade Miley will have to pitch another gem.
I believe the Cincinnati Reds offense will be a little more productive against the lefty in Eric Lauer and will be able to provide Miley with the runs they need to take this one on the road against the Brewers and even up the series at American Family Field.
Final Pick: Reds ML (+105)
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