MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds (6/28/18)
Venue: Great American Ballpark
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: FS-Ohio & FS-Wisconsin
Moneyline: Milwaukee (-110) / Cincinnati (-110)
It’s an NL Central clash Thursday night at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. The red-hot Reds welcome divisional foe and NL Central leader: Milwaukee. Cincinnati comes into the game winners in nine of their last ten contests, which is best in the Majors for the stretch. On the other hand, Milwaukee enters having lost three of their last four games at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This one is the first of a four-game set at Great American Ballpark and is the seventh meeting of 19 scheduled between these two clubs for the season. Currently, Milwaukee leads the season series: 5-1.
Milwaukee needs a brew
The Brewers come into this one loser of three of their last four decisions. Wednesday afternoon, Milwaukee was down 5-1 entering the bottom of the ninth versus the League-worst Kansas City Royals. Second-baseman Brad Miller (.262, 6 HR & 25 RBI) led a valiant effort in the last frame, belting a three-run homer to pull within one run at 5-4. However, in the end, it wasn’t enough as the Brew Crew fell to the Royals to split a two-game set. Milwaukee has lost six of their last ten, but it’s not all tough times for Milwaukee. The Brewers are still atop the NL Central Standings with a 46-33 (.582) record thus far, two games clear of the Chicago Cubs who’re nipping at their heels. Maybe a road trip is just what they need to right the ship, rapidly approaching the All-Star break? We’ll see as they face a Reds team they’ve gotten the better of so far this season.
Getting the ball for Milwaukee is Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.82 ERA & 1.17 WHIP). The 33-year-old Venezuelan has been solid this season but has been a tough-luck loser on more than one occasion. He’s 0-2 in his last seven starts, despite posting a 2.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. On April 17th, Guerra got the start in a 2-0 win versus this very same Reds squad but registered a no-decision in the process. Guerra tossed a one-hitter across 5.2 scoreless innings, surrendering three walks. In his career, Guerra is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP at Great American Ballpark.
The Reds are the hottest team in the League, winners in nine of their past ten games. Their lone loss came three nights ago at NL East-leading Atlanta, 5-4 in extra-innings. During the stretch of dominance, Cincinnati’s outscored opponents 68-38. Three players are leading the charge for the resurgent Reds: Scotter Gennett (.336, 13 HR & 53 RBI), Joey Votto (.301, 8 HR & 42 RBI) and Eugenio Suarez (.301, 16 HR & 58 RBI). At 34-46 (.425), Cincinnati’s still in last place in the NL Central Standings. However, they’re inching up the standings and are only 12.5 games behind Milwaukee for first-place in the division approaching the All-Star break. On the year, the Reds are 1-5 against Milwaukee. However, they’ve only been outscored 24-22 in the six games played versus the Brewers thus far. Cincinnati looks to the pride of Freehold, New Jersey Thursday night to make it three straight “W’s” for the hometown team.
Anthony DeSclafani (3-1, 4.09 ERA & 1.36 WHIP) gets the nod for the Reds in this one. The 28-year-old right-hander has turned it around after getting shelled for a loss in his first start of the year versus Colorado (9-6). Since DeSclafani hasn’t allowed more than two runs in three consecutive starts. Not to mention, all three starts resulted in victories. In his last three starts, DeSclafani is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. DeSclafani’s not only doing it with his arm either. In his 11-2 triumph over the Chicago Cubs recently, he hit the first grand slam by a Cincinnati pitcher in 59 years. In his career, DeSclafani’s 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP versus Milwaukee at Great American Ballpark
The oddsmakers think this one’s virtually a toss-up, but you can’t discount how tremendous the Reds have been lately. Cincinnati has lost five of six this year against Milwaukee, but the record doesn’t tell the tale of the tape. Milwaukee’s scored 24 runs, and Cincinnati’s scored 22 in the season series thus far. The Reds have won nine of their past ten and have roughed up tough competition such as the Cubs and Braves. Milwaukee’s in a bit of a rut and is ripe for the picking. Anticipate another series victory for the Reds, including taking game one of the four-game set Thursday night. Milwaukee’s bound to have regression to the mean in terms of the season series, and it should start here at Great American Ballpark. The Reds are 4-0 in their last four versus the NL Central and 3-1 in DeSclafani’s last four starts. Cincinnati on the money line is the prudent choice