Date/Time: July 11, 7:10 p.m. EST
Television: FSOH, SPSO
Starting Pitchers: Reds (Latos) vs. Braves (Hudson
MLB Gambling Odds from BetOnline
Moneyline: Braves (-121) Reds (+111)
The Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves come into this key series with very similar records. While the Braves sit atop the NL East, the Reds are behind both the Cardinals and Pirates in the highly competitive NL Central. The Reds are just 21-24 on the road this year, while the Braves are 29-13 on their home field. Let’s take a look at the first game of this series.
Cincinnati did win the series finale in Milwaukee yesterday, but they can’t be very happy to have lost two out of three to the Brewers. The Reds lineup has been strangely quiet of late. This is a team that has a lot of talent on paper, but the lineup just hasn’t been producing the way they should be. Where that has really showed up is on the road and against quality teams. For the majority of the season, the Reds have really struggled against top competition.
Mat Latos is part of a Cincinnati pitching staff that has been very good this year. Cincinnati has a lot of pitching depth, and there is no clear weakness in the rotation or in the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman has been electric once again in the closer’s role in 2013. Latos is 8-2 with a 3.18 ERA so far this year. Latos has a spectacular 2.91 ERA away from home this year, but he’ll face a very good Atlanta Braves lineup here.
Atlanta has been up and down this year, but the Braves have been rock solid at home. In the offseason, the Braves made a huge move getting both of the Upton brothers. Justin Upton has been good for the team, but BJ continues to slump. Freddie Freeman now leads the team with a .304 batting average. Atlanta’s is third in the majors in home runs, but the team needs to start hitting the ball better with runners in scoring position. They have been leaving too many runners stranded on base because of their blown chances. Dan Uggla is batting only .203 this year and BJ Upton is at a miserable .179.
The Braves bullpen is the best in baseball. Atlanta’s bullpen has an amazing 2.63 ERA for the year, which is far better than any other bullpen in the game. Tim Hudson is just 5-7 with a 4.03 ERA this year. Hudson certainly isn’t the dominating pitcher he was a few years ago, but he is still a tough competitor. The Braves have had a consistent lead in the NL East, but the Nationals are getting healthy and Atlanta needs to keep their foot on the gas.
Free Pick: Under 7.5
Latos has been lights out on the road, and the Reds lineup has been struggling on the road of late. Look for a good battle between these two starting pitchers.