Michael Lorenzen (3-2, 3.38 ERA) and Mike Fiers (3-7, 4.14 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (36-41) and the Milwaukee Brewers (33-48) at the Great American Ball Park. The Brewers come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jul. 3 and can be seen on FSN-WI and FSN-OH.
Lorenzen pitched 5.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out four and walking four in a 2-1 defeat to the Mets. When pitching against the Reds, Fiers is 1-4 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts. Adam Lind (.295, 31 Rs, 12 HRs, 46 RBIs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 6 yesterday with one run and two RBIs.
Cincinnati is a slim -113 favorite at home against Milwaukee. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently eight runs. Though the Reds have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-555), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 22-13. Within its division, Cincinnati has a 5-3 record as favorite and a 15-16 record SU. Cincinnati leads the MLB in steals, swiping 81 bases. Turning to the pitchers, the Reds are the fifth-best team in the NL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.3 hits per game so far this season.
As for their opponent, Milwaukee is coming in with an overall money line of -1,474 and a disappointing record of 20-31 as the underdog. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 9-14 record against fellow NL Central members, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, the Brewers have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.8 runs per game by averaging 4.8 during that stretch. The Brewers average 4.7 runs allowed per game, but does better whenever another team from the NL Central is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average down to 4.1 against division foes.
The Reds have controlled the season series, 5-2. The Reds have a 27-30 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Fiers takes the mound. Lorenzen (RHP) will be on the hill against the Brewers, who have a inferior 22-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CIN, O/U - Over
The Brewers are struggling at 12-19 in their division, while the Reds sit at 15-16.
When leading after 7 innings, Cincinnati is 14-17, while Milwaukee is 15-19.
The Reds are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Brewers have a 10-22 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Brewers are 6-39. The Reds have a 6-29 record when opponents outhit them.
Milwaukee ranks in the bottom half of the league at 16th when it comes to home runs, hitting 69 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 90.
Ranking 12th, Milwaukee is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.26 per game. Cincinnati ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 8.58.
Ranking 23rd, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.682). Cincinnati ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .720.
When the Brewers allow at least one home run, they are 21-32, well-matched with the Reds who are 16-32 when allowing at least one homer.