Reds at Braves Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/11/2013
The Cincinnati Reds will spend an extended weekend at Turner Field starting this Thursday night when the face the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of a four-game set. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network for one of the best series of the weekend.
Before heading south to Atlanta, the Reds avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee in Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. Cincinnati is now five full games behind St. Louis in the N.L. Central with an overall record of 51-40. It has gone 21-24 on the road this season.
The Braves missed a three-game sweep over Miami on Wednesday afternoon before returning home from a six-game road trip. They are 6-5 in their last 11 games and holding a six-game lead over Washington in the N.L. East with an overall record of 52-39. Atlanta has played extremely well at Turner Field this season with a record of 29-13.
Reds vs. Braves Betting Storylines
Cincinnati has long been known for its ability to hammer out runs, but its pitching is one of the main reasons it has remained competitive this season. It is currently ranked fourth in the National League with a team ERA of 3.41. The other reason it is well over .500 is a lineup that is also ranked fourth in the N.L. in scoring runs. The Reds have five different players with 30 or more RBI led by Brandon Phillips’ 64. Jay Bruce is a close second with 60 RBI on the year.
Look for Mat Latos to get the start for Cincinnati in Thursday’s series opener. The right-hander is 8-2 on the year with a 3.18 ERA in 18 previous starts. He got tagged for four earned runs in last Saturday’s win over Seattle which is only the third time in his last 10 starts he has given-up that many runs. Latos is 3-2 against Atlanta with an ERA of 2.45.
The Braves continue to set the pace in the NL East behind a pitching staff that is ranked second in the N.L. with a team ERA of 3.21 and a powerful lineup that is scoring an average of 4.4 runs a game, which is the third-best total in the league. The bullpen has been especially devastating. Justin Upton has grabbed quite a few headlines with his 44 RBI and 16 home runs, and Brian McCann has been smoking hot lately, but Freddie Freeman actually leads the team in knocking-in runs with 56.
Atlanta will turn to Tim Hudson to get this series started on a winning note. He was able to snap a 10-game winless streak last Saturday with a strong seven innings of work against Philadelphia. The right-hander is 5-7 this season with a 4.03 ERA. He has pitched well against Cincinnati in the past with a 4-1 record and 3.10 ERA.
Reds vs. Braves Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened the Reds as +113 road underdogs for Thursday night’s series opener with Atlanta listed as a -123 home favorite. The total has been set at 7.5.
The Reds are 9-4 in Latos’ last 13 starts on the road and 12-5 in his last 17 starts against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 11 of their last 14 games against a right-handed starter.
The Braves are 20-7 in their last 27 home games against a team with a winning record and 5-2 in their last seven games against a team from the N.L. Central. The total has stayed under in five of Hudson’s last seven starts.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings and the total has gone over in the first three games between these two teams this season. Atlanta is 5-2 in Hudson’s last seven starts against Cincinnati.
Reds vs. Braves Predictions
The best play in Thursday night’s matchup could be on the ‘under’ considering that it features two quality starters that have shown the ability to routinely pitch deep into the game. If playing a side, stick with Atlanta to get the early jump with the win. It has won the opener in four of its last five series, while the Reds have gone 1-5 in the first game of their last six.
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