This Friday, the (54-80) Cincinnati Reds and the (71-65) Milwaukee Brewers will play game one of this three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 8:10 PM EST inside American Family Field. The last time these two teams matched up, the Cincinnati Reds ended up stealing two of the three games.
The Reds are coming into this one after a tough series with the Chicago Cubs. They split the first two games, as the Reds struggled in game one, but looked outstanding in game two. They finished that game with seven scored runs.
The Milwaukee Brewers are entering this one after losing their previous series to the Colorado Rockies. The Brewers struggled on the mound in the final two games, as they gave up 18 combined runs. They will have to be better on the mound if they want to bounce back in this series.
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Can the Reds Heat Up?The Cincinnati Reds are currently on the outside looking in at the 2022 NL Wild Card race, as they are currently 5-5 in their last 10 games played. The Reds are still in fourth place in the NL Central, as they are 25.5 games back from the first-place St. Louis Cardinals. They will need to get hot if they want a chance at playing in the postseason.
At the plate, the Reds are scoring 4.39 runs per game and they are hitting .241 as a team. This is the 17th most runs scored per game and the 18th highest overall team batting average. They have struggled to consistently reach base this season, which has made it much more difficult to score. Cincinnati has also realized that they have an average amount of power hidden inside of their lineup. The Reds are hitting 1.02 bombs per game, which is the 16th most in the league. They have multiple guys that can change the game with one swing of the bat. I also expect the Reds to stay conservative on the base paths. They have only stolen 53 bases this season, which is the 23rd least. They have allowed their bats to move runners into scoring position all season.
According to MLB.com, the Reds will be starting Nick Lodolo on the mound. He is currently 3-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 6.0 innings and he only gave up two hits and zero earned runs. He shut down the Rockies while he was on the mound. Lodolo hasn't been great on the road, though. He is currently 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA outside of his home ballpark. The Reds bullpen has also had struggles this season, as they have the highest bullpen ERA in the league. As a team, the Reds are allowing 5.22 runs per game, which is the fourth most.
Can the Brewers Bounce Back?The Milwaukee Brewers are currently 4.0 games back from the San Diego Padres for the third and final NL Wild Card spot. Unfortunately, they struggled in their last series, as they are now 4-6 in their last 10. Milwaukee isn't out of it, though. They are only 8.5 games back from the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central. They still have a chance to win their division and avoid the Wild Card.
At the plate, the Brewers are scoring 4.58 runs per game and they are hitting .235 as a team this season. This is the eighth most runs scored per game, but only the 22nd highest overall team batting average. They have struggled to consistently reach base this season, but they have continued to find multiple ways to score. The Brewers also have some serious power littered throughout their batting lineup. They are hitting 1.45 bombs per game, which is the fourth most in the league. Watch for Rowdy Tellez at the plate in this one, as he currently leads the team with 28 home runs. I also expect the Brewers to stay aggressive once they have reached base safely. They have already taken 79 bases this season, which is the 12th most in the league.
According to MLB.com, the Brewers will start Jason Alexander on the mound in this game. He is 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. In his last start, he did get roughed up a bit. He only pitched for 4.2 innings and he gave up five hits and three earned runs. The Diamondbacks got to him early, but he has been decent at home this season. He is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA, as he will be looking to lower that ERA in this one. The Brewers bullpen also has the 17th highest overall ERA, as they have had issues this season too. As a team, the Brewers are allowing 4.41 runs per game, which is the 17th most.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be hammering the Brewers -1.5 in this matchup with the Reds. The Brewers are currently scoring the eighth most runs per game and they have a ton of power littered throughout their batting lineup. They are going to be able to tee off on Lodolo early in this game, as he has been horrible on the road this season. Outside of his home ballpark, Lodolo is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA. The Brewers will give themselves multiple chances to score, as I see them consistently reaching base in this game. The Reds bullpen is also one of the worst in the league, as I see them struggling once they enter the game. This will allow the Brewers to consistently score throughout this game. Cincinnati is allowing the 27th most runs as a team, as well. Now, I don't see the Reds doing much at the dish. They are scoring the 17th least amount of runs per game and I see Alexander bouncing back at home. He struggled in his last start, but the Reds have struggled at the plate all season. They won't get it going in this one and Alexander will be able to pitch fairly deep into this game. The Reds will continue to struggle at the dish and Milwaukee will slowly pull away.
Pick the Milwaukee Brewers and lay the run line spread (-1.5).
Full-Game Total Pick
I love the over 8.5 runs in this matchup, as I see both of these teams scoring in this game. If your book doesn't have the total set at this number, then I would recommend buying to it. The Brewers are scoring the eighth most runs per game and Lodolo has struggled all season. I see the Brewers scoring the majority of the runs in this game, as the Reds have continued to struggle on the mound this season. Lodolo is 0-3 on the road this season with a 6.75 ERA and their bullpen has the highest ERA in the MLB. The Brewers will consistently reach base throughout this game and they will do their part in pushing this total over 8.5. Now, the Reds aren't going to score enough runs to win this game, but they will still help push this total over the number. They are scoring 4.39 runs per game and they have a decent matchup in this one. Milwaukee will start Jason Alexander on the mound, as he is 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA this season. He has given up runs and the Reds will eventually get to him in this one.
Take the over 8.5 and expect the Brewers to do the majority of the scoring in this game.