Reds vs. Brewers Odds & Pick (Sunday, August 9): Sonny Gray Should Not Be an Underdog

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Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Sonny Gray.

  • Check out our betting preview for Sunday afternoon's matchup between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Find betting odds, predictions and a pick for the game below, including why BJ Cunningham believes Sonny Gray and the Reds are undervalued as road underdogs.

Reds vs. Brewers Betting Odds

Reds odds +108 [BET NOW]
Brewers odds -124 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 7.5 (-110/-110) [BET NOW]
Time Sunday, 2:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Sunday at 8:00 a.m. ET and via FanDuel. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


With the Minnesota Twins beginning to run away with the American League Central, Sunday’s game is important for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox if they want to keep pace in the division.

The Reds will go for the series sweep over their division rivals on Sunday after winning the first two games behind some fantastic pitching. Each team will send its front-end starters to the mound for Sunday’s series finale, which projects to be a classic pitchers’ duel.


Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.


Cincinnati Reds

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Reds offense has been mediocre so far, reporting a .311 wOBA and 97 wRC+. They’ve been led by Nick Castellanos, who has been the best hitter in baseball to begin the season.

Castellanos leads MLB with a .515 wOBA and seven home runs in his first 14 games. The rest of the Reds lineup will need to help Castellanos out if Cincinnati is going to go anywhere this season.

Reds Projected Starter

Sonny Gray, RHP

Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Sonny Gray has gotten off to great start in 2020. Through 18.2 innings of action, he has struck out 28 batters, allowed only eight hits and two earned runs. That has lead to an incredible 1.64 xFIP through his first three starts.

Gray probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. He has one of the best curveball/slider combinations in the game. In 2019, opponents managed a miserable .131 batting average against his curveball and averaged .117 against his slider.

If there is one part of his arsenal that is lacking, it’s his fastball. Last season, opponents had a .409 wOBA average when facing his fastball, and Gray generated an underwhelming 17% whiff rate. He’s still somewhat struggling with his fastball in 2020, but that shouldn’t be a problem Sunday as long as he utilizes his off-speed pitches well.

Milwaukee Brewers

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Brewers offense has been a bit quiet to begin the season with only a .294 wOBA and 87 wRC+. The need to get their star, Christian Yelich, going as he only has a .275 wOBA out of the gates. Moreover, Milwaukee’s lineup took a hit with Lorenzo Cain opting out for the season.

Brewers Projected Starter

Brandon Woodruff, RHP

Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Woodruff has been really good through his first three starts, allowing four earned runs on 13 hits and striking out 21 batters in 17.1 innings of work. However, he has uncharacteristically struggled with his sinker in 2020. Opponents have hit for a .363 wOBA against Woodruff’s 91 sinkers this season.

Woodruff has a lethal fastball that can top out at 100 mph, and his sinker typically ranks up there with some of the best in the MLB. On top of that, he’s got a nasty put-away slider that generated a 29.3% whiff rate in 2019.

The Reds are a good fastball hitting team, so Woodruff will have to figure out his sinker and utilize his slider more often on Sunday.

Bullpens

The bullpen matchup between these two teams is fairly even. After yesterday’s game, both teams should have everyone available.

Projections and Pick

I have Sonny Gray rated out better than Brandon Woodruff on Sunday. With both offenses and bullpens being fairly even, I don’t think Gray should be an underdog. I will be betting the Reds at +108, but I would only bet it down to +104.

Pick: Reds +108 (down to +104)

[Bet $20+ on the Reds at PointsBet and Win $100 if they get at least one hit]

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