Milwaukee will be looking to add another win over the Reds when the teams square off on Friday night. The Brewers opened the series with a 5-1 win on Thursday night. Cincinnati only has six home games remaining this season.
Lauer returning from elbow injuryMilwaukee continues to be in a must-win position as Philadelphia picked up another win on Thursday. The Phillies and Brewers are fighting for the final National League Wild Card spot, with Philadelphia holding a 2.5-game lead heading into Friday’s slate. Milwaukee was on a three-game losing streak earlier this week, dropping one game to the Yankees and two games to the Mets. The Brewers bounced back with a 6-0 win over the Mets on Wednesday and then added Thursday’s 5-1 win in Cincinnati. They have two games against St. Louis and four games against Milwaukee coming up next week.
The Brewers have been a poor offensive team this season, ranked No. 22 in team batting average (.234). Left fielder Christian Yelich leads the way with 138 hits, while shortstop Willy Adames has 125 hits, including 31 home runs. They are facing a Cincinnati pitching staff that is No. 28 with an ERA of 4.81. Left-handed pitcher Eric Lauer is going to start for Milwaukee on Friday. He is returning from an elbow injury and will be making his first start since Sept. 7. He is 10-7 with a 3.91 ERA and 138 strikeouts this season.
Minor trying to limit the damageCincinnati only has six home games remaining this season, as the painful campaign is finally going to come to an end. The Reds have not been competitive for most of the year, never recovering from a horrible start to the season. They lost three out of five games at St. Louis last week before splitting a two-game set against Boston earlier this week. Cincinnati got off to a slow start to this series with a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. The Reds are going on the road for their final road trip of the season next week, making stops in Pittsburgh and Chicago. All three of those teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Reds have not been a great offensive team either, ranked No. 20 in batting average (.239). Shortstop Kyle Farmer leads the way with 124 hits, while second baseman Jonathan India has 89 hits. They are facing a Milwaukee pitching staff that is No. 16 with an ERA of 3.94. Left-handed pitcher Mike Minor is set to start for Cincinnati on Friday. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks against St. Louis last Saturday, striking out just one. Minor has allowed seven hits or more in four of his last seven starts, throwing six-plus innings just once. He is 0-8 with a 6.22 ERA in 10 home starts this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is another spot to back a motivated Milwaukee team against a Cincinnati team that is ready for the season to end. The Brewers are fighting with Philadelphia for the final NL Wild Card spot, while the Reds have been eliminated from playoff contention for more than a week. Milwaukee has dominated Cincinnati of late, winning 14 of the last 20 meetings. The Brewers have won five of their last six games at Cincinnati. Minor continues to give up hits in bunches this season, and I do not expect that to change on Friday.
Full-Game Total Pick
Betting the under in game involving Cincinnati continues to be a profitable decision late in the season. The Reds have gone under the total in six consecutive games, as their offense is producing even less than they were earlier in the year. They are playing without Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel due to injuries, which does not leave many quality bats in the lineup. Lauer is making his return from the injured list, but he will be backed up by a strong bullpen. Minor is going to throw strikes, which should be enough to limit the damage against a mediocre Milwaukee offense.