Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves
The Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves face off on Monday as two of the better teams in baseball meet at Great American Ballpark. The Reds are -125 favorites over the Braves with an over/under run total set at 9.
The Cincinnati Reds are on the move in the N.L. Central and after taking two of three from the Yankees in New York their confidence is growing. The Reds are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 9-8 at home this season and are in second place in the N.L. Central as they inch closer to the leading Cardinals. As a team the Reds are hitting .237 with Joey Votto hitting .301, Jay Bruce hitting .276, and Brandon Phillips hitting .260. As a team the Reds pitching staff has an ERA of 3.54 with the starters at 3.96 and the bullpen at 2.71. For game one against the Braves Cincinnati starts Mike LEake who has yet to win a game this season. For the year Leake has allowed 47 hits and 26 earned runs while striking out 21 over 37.2 innings of work for a 6.21 ERA.
The Atlanta Braves have been hot of late as they won two of three in their interleague series at Tampa Bay. The Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 games, 16-9 at home this season, and lead the N.L. East by a game and a half. As a team the Braves are hitting .270 with Martin Prado at .323, Michael Bourn at .320, Tyler Pastornicky hitting .275, and Freddie Freeman hitting .268. As a team the Braves pitching staff has an ERA of 4.07 with the starters at 4.27 and the bullpen at 3.71. For game one against the Reds Atlanta starts Mike Minor who has been lit up in his last three games to the tune of a 12.56 ERA. For the season Minor has allowed 53 hits and 37 earned runs while striking out 44 over 47 innings for a 7.09 ERA
Cincinnati is 20-9 in their last 29 games as a home favorite, 12-5 in their last 17 home games following a road trip of a week or more, and 1-4 in Leake’s last five starts. Atlanta is 5-1 in their last six road games, 16-5 in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record, and 5-2 in Minor’s last seven starts. Atlanta is 1-4 in their last five games in Cincinnati.
Neither of these pitchers pitched when these two teams split a two game series last week in Atlanta but this has the makings of a reasonably high scoring game and my pick will be on the over.