Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview and Pick – Betting Line

Milwaukee Brewers (15-22) Yovani Gallardo, at Cincinnati Reds
(21-16) Johnny Cueto, Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio,
7:10 PM EST, Monday, May 17th, 2010

by Badger of

Betting Line: Brewers -105/Reds -105
Total: 8

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Major League Baseballs hottest team opens up a quick two-game series
versus a team that is one of the games coldest, when the first-place
Cincinnati Reds host the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ballpark
in Ohio.

The opener will feature a great pitchers duel when the Brewers bump
ace right-hander Yovani Gallardo up one day in the rotation to take
his turn against the Reds and their righty Johnny Cueto.

If you were missing in action over the weekend you might be thinking
the first-place in front of the Reds is a misprint, but its not.
The Reds moved a half-game in front of the St. Louis Cardinals by
taking two of the three games they played against them over the
weekend, winning the finale on Sunday 7-2 behind a complete game from
starter Bronson Arroyo.

The Reds have won eight of their last 10 games and have made their
climb up the standings on the backs of their starting pitching, which
has thrown three complete games and all but 10 innings over the last
seven games.

The Brewers on the other hand are scuffling bad, losing all six games of their short homestand at Miller Park including Sunday nights 4-2
loss to Philadelphia on ESPN to pour salt on the wound. To make
matters worse, if thats possible, Gallardo has been moved up a day
in the rotation due to an unexpected trip to the DL by Doug Davis
(virus in the fluid surround his heart).

Milwaukee will need a gigantic game from Gallardo, not just to stop
the slide, but because the Brewers bullpen is in tatters with tired
arms and just plain ineffectiveness. The Crews pen gave up 25 runs
in the failed six-game homestand, and the starters havent gone past
the sixth inning in over two weeks.

It is a little surprising that the oddsmakers out in Las Vegas are
listing the white-hot Reds as underdogs in this game, but with
Milwaukee listed at -110 odds on the moneyline and Cincinnati as +100
thats exactly what they are doing. There are a few sportsbooks with
reduced juice odds that are listing the Reds at +103 or +105, so you
might be able to get true underdog odds on the Reds and not just even

The over/under total opened at 7.5 on the overnight line but its
already up to 8 across the board at just about every sportsbook on
the Web.

Cueto was absolutely filthy his last time out, throwing one of those
complete games in a one-hitter in a 9-0 victory over Pittsburgh.
After a slow start to the season Cueto is starting to peak, going 2-0
(Reds are 3-0) in his last three turns with a 0.80 WHIP and a 2.25 ERA.

Cueto also has a good history against the Brewers, going just 1-1 in
five career starts but with solid splits (1.113 WHIP, .305 OBP). He
has been prone to giving up extra base hits against the Brewers (.741
OPS, 11of 29 hits are for extra bases) with Prince Fielder (6-for-14,
2 HR, 1.538 OPS) and Corey Hart (4-for-13, 2 HR, 1.169 OPS) doing
most of the damage against him.

Gallardo has also pitched better of late after a slow start, going
2-0 (Brewers 2-1) in his last three outings with respectable splits
(1.28 WHIP, 2.50 ERA). Gallardos problems center around his control
issues, as he has had high walk totals and pitch counts which is the
main reason he has only gone past six innings of work twice this season.

Historically he is been good against the Reds, going 2-1 in five
careers starts against them. But a look at his splits tells the same
story, high walk totals (16 vs. the Reds in five games) puts his WHIP
at a borderline 1.433 and puts his on-base percentage (.341) and OPS
(.753) against the Reds at higher levels than youd expect from the
Brewers top hurler.

In efforts in Great American Ballpark are much better however, as he
is 1-0 in three starts there with splits that come down across the
board (1.373 WHIP, .325 OBP, .681 OPS). Hell have to avoid the
games hottest hitter right now, Scott Rolen, who is a perfect 3-
for-3 against him with a double and a homer for an unworldly 3.333
OPS. Jay Bruce (2-for-4, HR) and Brandon Phillips (4-for-13, HR) have
also had good success versus the Mexican-born righty.

The Reds edged the Brewers in the season series last year taking
eight out of 15, splitting the six games played at Great American
Ballpark 3-3. The over also held a slight edge in Cincys park last
year, going 3-2-1 in those six games.

With the numbers these two pitchers have put up, the under might be a
strong play tonight because it is 4-0-1 in Cuetos five starts
against the Crew, and its 3-1-1 in Gallardos five starts against
the Reds.

Badgers Pick: It’s tough to look past the Reds being 8-2 in their last 10 games while my beloved Brewers are only 3-7 in their last ten losing 6 in a row. The Reds are hot and -105 is a GREAT price (seriously undervavlued IMO). Take the Reds to win tonight.