Braves vs Reds Odds, Picks, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview (Friday, June 23)
Pictured: AJ Smith-Shawver. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Braves vs. Reds Odds
Luke Weaver is not an elite starter and will have to face a dangerous Atlanta Braves offense. The Braves will start A.J. Smith-Shawver, who is just 20-years-old, but has shown why he is one of the Braves' top prospects. He shut down a pretty strong Diamondbacks lineup in his first outing and could be the real deal.
The Cincinnati Reds keep winning baseball games. They are riding an 11-game win streak and lead the National League Central by 1.5 games. The Reds have hit the ball well lately, but there is concern with the bullpen.
With that being said, the under should be in play in this game.
Smith-Shawver owns a 2.03 ERA against a 2.64 xERA in three starts. His Average Exit Velocity is 90.2 mph, but his Barrel Rate is only 5.4% and his Hard Hit Rate is just 32.4%. That means he allows hard contact, but not often. That"s be important against a red-hot Reds team.
The Braves have a phenomenal lineup against right-handed pitching. They own a .937 OPS in June with a 17.8% strikeout rate, a 10% walk rate and a 150 wRC+. They have nine active hitters with a xwOBA over .320 on the year and are solid top-to-bottom. It will be quite the test for Weaver.
In relief, the Braves have been elite. They have a team xFIP of 3.26 in June. Jesse Chavez being on the Injured List hurts, but the Braves have five other relievers with a xFIP under 4.00 in June. That should be enough to hold the Reds in check.
Yes, Weaver is a weak starting pitching option, but his xERA is 5.23 against a 6.47 ERA. So, some positive results should be coming soon. He also only walks 6.6% of hitters, so the Braves may not get many free passes. He does give up some hard contact, but should be able to log about five innings and potentially hold Atlanta to four or fewer runs.
The Reds have also hit the ball well this month. They own a 107 wRC+ off of righties this month and also boast a .781 OPS. The Reds have five hitters with an xwOBA over .320 on the season (against righties). The bottom part of the lineup is weak and Smith-Shawver should be able to take care of those hitters.
In relief, the Reds have some concerns. The Reds only have three relief arms with an xFIP below 4.00, though Fernando Cruz is just a touch above that number as well.
Braves vs. Reds Betting Pick
The Braves should score in this game. However, 11 total runs is too many for a game with Smith-Shawver starting. Weaver can also eat innings for the Reds. This under should be in fine shape if Cincinnati doesn't score much early. The Reds also have a few solid relief options to turn to Friday. Take the under from 11 (-110) to 10 (-110). This number is simply too high.
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