Reds vs. Braves Game 2 Odds, Betting Pick, Prediction (Thursday, Oct. 1)
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- The Braves are a short favorite over the Reds in Game 2 of their National League Wild Card series.
- Wednesday's Game 1 went 13 innings before Atlanta walked off. Cincinnati grinded out 11 hits but couldn't plate a single run.
- See how Michael Arinze is betting Reds vs. Braves Game 2.
Reds vs. Braves Game 2 Odds
|Reds Odds||+115 [Bet Now]|
|Braves Odds||-135 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||7.5 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||12 p.m. ET|
Growing up I’d often hear the phrase, “If you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before.” Those words couldn’t be truer after watching Game 1 of the Reds-Braves Wild Card Series. Not only was this the longest two teams went without scoring a run in a postseason game, but it was also the most combined strikeouts (37) in a playoff contest. Ultimately, it took 13 innings before Braves 1B Freddie Freeman delivered a walk-off base hit to center field that gave Atlanta a 1-0 victory in the best-of-three series.
While the game was marred by poor situational hitting and base running, other elements might have been just as responsible. For one, a noon start time is quite uncommon for baseball players, and secondly, the early schedule meant there would be ballpark shadows on the field which affected the hitters’ ability to identify the pitch, rotation, and a pitcher’s release point.
Both teams will have to deal with the same elements again in Game 2 as first pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.
As a result, it is entirely possible that we have another close game with this matchup not being decided until the later innings.
The Atlanta Braves always seem to have another burgeoning young pitcher in waiting. This year’s example is right-hander, Ian Anderson. Anderson made his major league debut on Aug. 26 and went six innings of one-run ball to defeat Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole, in a 5-1 ballgame.
Anderson ended up finishing the season 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. It’s important to note that while Anderson was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft, he’s pitched only 32.1 innings at the major league level. With that said, his 2.54 FIP, which is higher than his ERA, makes him a candidate for a slight regression.
Much like many young pitchers, Anderson struggled with his command at times during the season. His 3.90 BB/9 could be a concern particularly in the playoffs where every mistake is even more magnified. It’ll be interesting to see how Cincinnati’s hitters approach Anderson as they’ll be facing him for the first time in what is now an elimination game for the Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds will hand the ball to Luis Castillo in Game 2. It was certainly an interesting year for Castillo as by the end of August he had an 0-5 record before he won his next four decisions and finished the season 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
However, Castillo’s advanced numbers suggest that he was even better, as evidenced by his 2.65 FIP, 0.64 HR/9 innings and 2.30 GB/FB ratio. Figure this: opposing batters hit only .232 against Castillo and yet their BABIP was almost .100 points higher at .329. So basically if a batter could make contact with his pitch, they were essentially an above .300 hitter. But we know that story is incomplete unless we factor in Castillo’s 11.44 K/9 ratio for when hitters fail to put the ball into play.
Castillo might have been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball this season. And it’s that misfortune that gives me pause, particularly when I look at a Braves lineup that has a .383 AVG / .453 OBP / .532 SLG slash line against Castillo in 47 at-bats.
This handicap is not as straightforward because we’ve got a Braves pitcher facing the Reds for the first time and we also should consider how the shadows will impact the hitters after what we saw in Game 1.
I mentioned in my opening that I’d expect another competitive matchup in Game 2. My model supports that theory and projects the Braves as just a -113 favorite with the Reds as a +102 underdog.
PointsBet lists the Braves as a -135 favorites and the Reds as +115 dogs.
While I should be inclined to back Cincinnati given the perceived value in my model’s projections, Castillo’s head-to-head numbers against Atlanta’s hitters are a bit worrisome.
As a result, while I lean Cincinnati in Game 2, my opinion isn’t strong enough to back them at the betting window. If they were to reach, say, +125, however, I wouldn’t have much choice.
As for a bet I would suggest: these teams are listed at -125 to not score a run in the first inning at DraftKings.
Luis Castillo did give up a first-inning run in his last outing, but has not done so in consecutive outings this season. Anderson has done so just once in his seven starts.
And given that this is the Braves’ first time ever seeing him, plus the effect that the shadows should have once again, I like the odds on a scoreless first frame.
The PICK: First Inning Under 0.5 (-125), Lean Cincinnati Moneyline (prefer +125 or above)