Thursday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Reds vs. Brewers: Cincinnati Looks To Gain Ground Against Brett Anderson (August 26)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Omar Narvaez
- The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers wrap up their season series on Thursday in Milwaukee.
- Sonny Gray takes the mound for the Reds and will be opposed by Brett Anderson.
- Jeff Hicks breaks down the matchup below and makes his betting pick.
Reds vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday evening and via DraftKings.|
Day baseball will bring the three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers to a close. Thursday's contest will be the last between the two teams unless they find a way to match up in the playoffs.
If you take away the games between the two clubs, there is a reason they are first and second in the NL Central. The Brewers are 34-13 against the Central, while the Reds are 28-14.
This is Cincinnati's last chance to gain ground on the Brewers without help. Will that motivation help decide how to bet this game?
Southpaws Stymying Reds in August
The Reds' offense entered August with subpar numbers against left-handed pitchers like Brett Anderson of the Brewers. The bad times have continued as the Reds have a 59 road Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) against lefties, 28th in baseball.
Only the Yankees strike out at a higher rate in the same situation. Their .160 average? Worst over that timeframe. But so is their .196 BABIP.
Anderson could be what cures the Reds' ailment against lefties; he has his highest Barrel and Hard Hit percentages of his career and the Reds have the best Hard Hit percentage in road games against lefties in August.
Sonny Gray has been predictably better away from Cincinnati. His groundball rate has dropped below 50% for the first time in his career and it has led to a .423 home slugging percentage against.
Gray's numbers on the road have established a lower Expected ERA than actual, and the Reds' defense is one of 14 with a Defensive WAR over 18.0. As good as the Brewers' offense has been as the weather has warmed, it has not had the best August at home.
Solid Pitching Comes in Many Forms
Milwaukee enters the final game of this series 17th in home wRC+ in August, and 20th against right-handed pitching. The Brewers' savior has been one of the lowest K rates at home and the second-best walk rate at home against righties.
Paired with arguably the best pitching rotation in baseball, and that has helped Milwaukee go 6-4 at home in August despite the Reds and San Francisco Giants making stops in Wisconsin.
Anderson will be making his 20th start Thursday. It will be the fourth time in his career that he makes 20 starts. You love to see it, especially since he has had success with the Brewers, especially in Milwaukee.
Anderson's 3.13 home ERA is 1.87 runs better than his road mark, but the hard contact mentioned earlier is expected with a soft-tossing lefty.
Anderson has allowed four earned runs at home this month, that is tied for the most at home with May in six more innings.
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Eight runs is tough to count on and the hook at 8.5 would be the play, but with both teams showing signs of regression and progress based on the numbers in August, taking the best team is the way to go.
The Brewers are not only good at home but they are 36-16 in day games, the best in the NL
Pick: Brewers ML (-125, bet to -130. More willing to bet the under run total if it moves to 8.5.)