MLB Picks: Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves

by | Apr 7, 2022 | mlb

Cincinnati Reds (0-0) vs. Atlanta Braves (0-0)

When: 8:10 p.m., Thursday April 7

Where: Truist Park, Atlanta

Moneyline: CIN +170/ATL -200 (BAS - They allow you to bet on sides/totals at reduced odds! This is better than ANY bonus you can get!)

Runline: Reds +1.5/Braves -1.5

Total: 8

Starting Pitchers: Tyler Mahle (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) vs. Max Fried (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

Keeping In Check

Despite playing for a relatively weak team last year, Mahle actually gave a credible showing for Cincinnati in 2021. He averages better than a strikeout per inning and records more than three times as many punchouts as he does walks. Against the Braves last year, he did a decent job of keeping Atlanta from breaking the game open, going six innings, and giving up four runs. Had the Reds been able to do anything on offense, they might have pulled out a victory.

Cincinnati isn’t likely to get a lot of offense here, so Mahle will pretty much have to do this on his own. He did strike out seven Atlanta hitters and only allowed one walk and six hits, so there’s reason to believe in him doing his part to keep the total low. He won’t go for long, but he will go five innings if nothing weird happens, so you might want to consider backing the under for the first five innings o a likely pitchers’ duel.

Regular Season Form

Max Fried would love to pick up where he left off from last year, but only if that refers to either his regular-season form or his last postseason game of 2021. Fried was, for the most part, a mess in the postseason last year, getting knocked out of two games early, but he was dynamite when it mattered most, as he blanked Houston to seal the World Series.

Recent history suggests he’ll be more like he was in that final game, as he’s usually been a great regular-season pitcher. Last year, Fried struggled through two early starts against Miami and Washington, but after getting knocked out of a game in the fourth inning on June 1, he never pitched less than five innings again in the regular season in 2021. That means he’ll give you a good chance for strikeouts and will usually be in a position to leave with the lead, about all a bettor can ask for from a starter. If Fried can resume his regular showing of six low-scoring innings pitched and around seven strikeouts — and with the DH now standard, there’s every reason to think he can — the Braves will take a big step forward.

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Straight Swap?

Will Matt Olson prove to be a full replacement for what Freddie Freeman brought to the Atlanta offense? It’s never easy to replace a productive and popular player like Atlanta did with Freeman, but bringing in Olson suggests that Atlanta isn’t going to take any kind of step back without Freeman in the fold. If Olson’s 39 home runs come over from the American League without any issues, the Braves’ offense will remain a potent force capable of winning games on their own. A healthy and productive Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley would also help greatly.

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Betting Trends

  • The Reds are 1-4 in their past five overall.
  • The Reds are 2-8 in their past 10 games on the road.
  • The Braves are 12-2 in their past 14 games at home.
  • The Braves are 8-2 in their past 10 against the NL Central.
  • The under is 13-4-2 in the Reds’ past 19 road games.
  • The under is 7-1 in the Reds’ past eight road games against a left-handed starter.
  • The under is 5-1-1 in the Braves’ past seven contests overall.
  • The under is 11-5-1 in the Braves’ past 17 home games.
  • The Braves have won four of the past five meetings in Atlanta.
  • The under is 7-2 in the past nine matchups.

Weather Report

A pull hitter down the left-field line might be able to get the job done here, as winds will blow out to left field at 10 miles per hour. Temperatures will sit at 52 degrees at first pitch.

Dan’s Pick to Win

The Braves are the more complete team and seem to be going in on trying to repeat as both NL East champion and World Series champions. The latter goal will be tough with Freeman not in the fold, but Atlanta seems to be relaxed and comfortable after bringing home a title last year and should be in the mix again.

The Reds might have trouble hitting in this one. I prefer the total going under, but I like the Braves here. Kick your baseball season off right with a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100).

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