Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#901 Atlanta Braves -115 vs.
#902 Cincinnati Reds 9
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:40pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s the start of a set between a pair of National League teams in the Buckeye State. The Atlanta Braves continue their trip through Ohio as they play the first game of a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night. Atlanta won the rubber game of their three-game set, 11-5, over the Indians on the road Sunday night in their last game. Cincinnati dropped the finale of a four-game set with the Padres, 4-3, on the road Sunday to miss a chance at a sweep. The Reds won the season series 4-3 last season though the teams split four meetings here April 23-26, 2018.

Atlanta Braves Looking for Third Straight Win

Atlanta won the final two games of their three-game set with the Indians on the road over the weekend. The Braves entered Monday tied for second in the NL East, one game behind the Phillies in the division race. Atlanta was up 9-0 after four innings and cruised the rest of the way to the victory. The Braves banged out 16 hits with Josh Donaldson (three runs, four RBI) and Freddie Freeman (two runs, two RBI) each recording three. Donaldson (his third and fourth) launched a pair of homers in the contest. Max Fried (3-0) earned the win on the mound: he threw 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Kevin Gausman is on the mound as he makes his fourth start of the season for the Braves in this contest. He comes in 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA, a 0.763 WHIP, six walks and 22 strikeouts over 19.2 innings of work this season. Gausman didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Wednesday at home against Arizona. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts in a game the Braves dropped 3-2 in 10 innings. Gausman was crushed and took the loss in his lone career start against the Reds, which came with the Orioles on April 18, 2017. He allowed eight runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts over 2.2 innings in a 9-3 Baltimore loss. That defeat came at the Great American Ball Park, giving him at least a passing familiarity with the park.

Cincinnati Reds Hope to Maintain Momentum

Cincinnati took three of four from the Padres on the road over the weekend: even after losing the finale Sunday, they hope to maintain some of that momentum. The Reds entered Monday in the basement of the NL Central, five games behind the Pirates in the division. Cincinnati was done in by a four-run third for the Padres as they were unable to come back. Jose Iglesias (RBI) had three hits for the Reds while no one else had more than one. Eugenio Suarez (his fifth) and Kyle Farmer (his third) each homered in the loss. Tyler Mahle (0-3) took the loss on the mound as he allowed four runs on seven hits with no walks and nine strikeouts over six innings of work.

Sonny Gray takes the ball for his fifth start of the season with the Reds in this contest. He is 0-3 with a 2.79 ERA, a 0.931 WHIP, six walks and 22 strikeouts over 19.1 innings of work this season. Gray took the loss in his last start, which came Wednesday on the road against the Dodgers. He threw six innings, allowing three runs on two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in a 3-2 Reds defeat. Gray is 0-2 with a 2.16 ERA, a 0.54 WHIP, two walks and 22 strikeouts over 16.2 innings of work in his last three starts. He is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, two walks and nine strikeouts over 13.1 innings in two career starts against the Braves. Gray is 0-2 with a 2.51 ERA, a 1.186 WHIP, five walks and 10 strikeouts over 14.1 innings of work in three career starts at the Great American Ball Park.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This one is going to be an interesting contest given the lack of track record by either starter against the opposition. Gausman was rocked in his lone start against the Reds two years ago while Gray lost both his outings against the Braves. The Reds have a little momentum after taking three of four from the Padres and they return home for this one. Gray has pitched pretty well in his first four starts as a National League pitcher and hasn’t given up much in the way of baserunners this season. Give the Reds a slight advantage in the opening game of the series here behind Gray.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds -110

Full-Game Total Pick

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Atlanta has gotten some solid offensive production in the early going this season. The Braves are averaging 5.43 runs per game (ninth in the majors) while ranking third in team batting average (.266) and fifth in OPS (.815) on the year. Cincinnati has gotten better than expected production from their pitching staff as the team is fourth in team ERA (3.22) and ninth in WHIP (1.22) this season. That has helped offset the fact that the Reds are dead last in the majors with a .197 team batting average. Will Cincinnati get the bats going in this one and start to produce offensively?

The over is 3-0-1 in the Braves’ last 4 games following a win, 3-0-1 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series, 5-1 in their last 6 vs. National League Central opponents and 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The over is 5-1 in the last six meetings between the teams. Given the fact that the dimensions of the Great American Ball Park and the power in the lineups, this one likely ends up going over the total.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.