Reds vs Braves MLB

Reds vs Braves MLB | Both Chasing Playoff Spots

Both the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves need all they wins they can get as they chase both division titles (not likely) and wild-card spots (a bit more likely). The Reds are short favorites on the MLB odds as the teams open a series in Atlanta on Tuesday.

How to Bet Reds at Braves MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

The Reds are at a bit of a disadvantage in that they were supposed to be off Monday but had to go to Cleveland to play a makeup game, while the Braves were off. It appears that trade acquisition Mychal Givens is the team’s new closer as he has thrown six consecutive scoreless frames, and converted both of his save chances since being acquired via trade from the Rockies last week.

One guy losing some work of late is outfielder Aristides Aquino with the recent return of Nick Castellanos from the 10-day injured list effectively closing the door on Aquino’s path to regular playing time. Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Tyler Naquin and Shogo Akiyama have all outpaced him in terms of starts over the past week.

Second baseman Jonathan India is trying to become only the third rookie in Major League history to lead his league in on-base percentage (Cleveland’s Joe Jackson, .468 in 1911 & Cincinnati’s Cuckoo Christensen, .426 in 1926). India ranks fourth in the National League and fifth in the majors in on-base percentage (.406). He leads all National League rookies in hitting, RBI, on-base percentage, walks and runs scored while ranking second in HR, slugging percentage, OPS, extra-base hits and total bases.

It’s right-hander Sonny Gray (4-6) on the mound here. Gray surrendered four runs over five innings last Thursday in a win over the Pirates. Gray was staked to a seven-run lead after two innings and appeared to be cruising to a relatively easy win before the Pirates struck for four runs on five hits and a walk in the fifth inning. The 31-year-old righty recorded seven strikeouts and issued two walks.

Gray has struggled over his last four starts with an 8.53 ERA in 19 innings. On the season, his ERA has risen to 4.44 and his WHIP is up to 1.40. He does have a strong 11.4 K/9 rate in 81 innings. Still, Gray’s  overall strikeout percentage is slightly down from a year ago, when it was 30.6%. His whiff rates on each of his breaking and off-speed pitches are down. For his curve ball, it’s down to 33.3 percent from 36.2 percent in 2020. And for his slider, it currently is at 39.3 percent, down from 47.2 percent in 2020.

Gray has a 3.00 ERA on the road this year compared to 5.23 at home. For some reason, his entire career has been that way in terms of being better on the road.

Why Bet on Atlanta?

The Braves have won five of six to get to 57-55 – they hadn’t been over .500 all season until last Thursday. Adam Duvall drilled a two-run homer on Sunday in the Braves’ victory over the Nationals. Duvall padded the Braves’ lead with a line-drive 415-foot shot into the left-field corner off lefty Patrick Corbin in the sixth inning. It was his 24th homer of the season and the second time he’s gone deep since being acquired from the Marlins at the trade deadline in late July. He and another trade acquisition, Jorge Soler have combined for five home runs since the Braves acquired both. The Braves are 6-3 since the deadline. An in-season acquisition has homered in five of those games.

“It’s so reassuring to me to see him out there,” manager Brian Snitker said of Duvall. “You just don’t worry about him. I can’t say enough about Adam Duvall the player, the person, how consistent he is, how he goes about it. I’ve loved having him back.”

First baseman and reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman didn’t play Sunday. He left Saturday’s game early due to an upper-respiratory infection and admitted to symptoms of dizziness and nausea before exiting the contest. Obviously, monitor that but Freeman has tested negative for COVID.  Since 2011, his first full season, Freeman has made 1,471 starts, the second most in baseball. Only Kansas City’s Carlos Santana has started more with 1,541. Freeman started all 162 games twice, first in 2014 and then again in 2018.

The Braves are 48-2 this year when taking a lead into the ninth inning. The Braves’ two losses in these situations are tied for the fourth fewest in the National League. Only Chicago (0), Milwaukee (1) and St. Louis (1) have fewer.

It’s lefty Drew Smyly on the mound here. Smyly (7-3) lasted just four innings in a no-decision against the Cardinals last Wednesday, allowing three runs on six hits. All of the damage done against him came in the opening inning where Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer. Smyly was pinch-hit for in the fifth inning after throwing only 75 pitches in the game. He has gone exactly four innings in each of his past three starts, posting a collective 4.50 ERA and 1.92 WHIP over that span. His season ERA is also 4.50.

Game Trends

  • Reds are 5-2 in their last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • Reds are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Braves are 5-1 in their last 6 overall.
  • Braves are 5-1 in their last 6 during game 1 of a series.
  • Braves are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. National League Central.
  • Under is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Braves 5, Reds 4

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