Cincinnati Reds (50-71; 66-50-5 O/U) vs. Atlanta Braves (53-65; 61-53-4 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 18, 2017 at 7:35pm EST
Line: Atlanta -143/Cincinnati +133
The Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds will open a three game series starting Friday night from SunTrust Park. The Reds will give the start to 23-year old right-hander Sal Romano, and the Braves will counter with 42-year old right-hander R.A. Dickey. The Braves took two of three over the Reds in early June.
Romano Hit-Hard in Third Straight Start
Sal Romano will get the nod for the ninth time of the season, looking to avoid his fourth straight loss. Romano was hit-hard by the Brewers in his previous start, conceding seven runs (six earned) in five innings. The rookie right-hander has been roughed up in two consecutive starts and now owns a 6.05 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP to go with a 2-5 record in 38.2 innings logged. Romano, who will be facing the Braves for the first time, has now allowed at least eight hits in three straight starts. Tucker Barnhart is on one of his best stretches of the season, collecting seven RBI’s along with two home runs over his last eight games. The 26-year old catcher is having a decent season, hitting .263 with five home runs and 29 RBI’s. Barnhart has recorded a hit in 3 of 8 at bats against the Braves this season.
The Reds are averaging 4.67 runs per game, ranking them 16th in the Major Leagues, and are hitting .254 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching continues to falter, posting a Major League worst 5.30 team ERA.
Dickey Silences St. Louis in Second Straight Win
R.A. Dickey will make his 24th start of the year, looking to log another strong outing. Dickey was tremendous in his latest action, limiting the Cardinals to only one run in seven innings, and recorded the win. The veteran knuckleballer is having an outstanding second half, and now features a 3.89 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP accompanied with a 8-7 record in 141 innings of work. He last faced the Reds in June and conceded five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings, and now owns a 1-2 record with a 4.83 ERA in five career starts. Zack Cozart is 3 for 12 against Dickey, while Joey Votto is 4 for 9, and Billy Hamilton is 1 for 3. Freddie Freeman has turned it on after a slow stretch, recording seven RBI’s along with two home runs over his last 10 games, and features a .340 average this month. The 27-year old first baseman is having another terrific season, currently hitting .320 with 21 home runs and 48 RBI’s. Freeman has belted six homers along with 21 RBI’s in 37 career games against the Reds.
The Braves are currently scoring an average of 4.49 runs per game, ranking them 21st overall, and own a .259 team batting average. The Atlanta pitching possesses a 4.78 team ERA, positioning them 26th in the Major Leagues.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 0-4 in Romano’s last 4 starts.
- 3-13 in their last 16 games against the NL East.
- 5-16 in their last 21 road games against a team with a losing record.
- 16-39 in their last 55 road games.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- No Key Trends
I am going with the Braves in this contest.R.A. Dickey continues to shine on the mound, sporting a stifling 2.54 ERA over his last eight starts, and the Reds lineup is only hitting a combined .238 against him, so I very confident backing him. In addition, Romano is struggling right now, surrendering 16 runs (15 earned) over his last three starts (17 innings), so I expect Atlanta to put some crooked numbers on the board.