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Reds vs. Brewers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Lefties Face Off in NL Central Showdown (July 9)

Reds vs. Brewers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Lefties Face Off in NL Central Showdown (July 9) article feature image

Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Yelich.

  • The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds will take the field in an NL Central battle on Friday night.
  • The Reds sit seven games back of the Brewers in the division, but the teams will face each other six more times in a row, allowing either team to make a move.
  • Check out Tanner McGrath's full betting guide, complete with updated odds, a pick, and a prediction below.

Reds vs. Brewers Odds

Reds Odds +100
Brewers Odds -120
Over/Under 9 (+100 / -120)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
TV YouTube
Odds as of Friday morning and via DraftKings.

It’s rivalry weekend in the NL Central, as the first-place Brewers take on the second-place Reds.

The Reds dropped Game 1 of this series and have fallen 7.0 games back of Milwaukee. But these two are going to play six straight games against each other (wrapped around the All-Star break), so there’s a lot of opportunity for them.

In a lefty vs. lefty matchup, where does the value lie? Let’s dive in.

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Who’s the Reds’ Real All-Star?

In a surprising turn of events, the Reds have found themselves in second place in the division. Unfortunately, they’re seven games behind their divisional opponent today.

But to look on the bright side, the Reds have six more consecutive games against the Brewers. If there ever was a time to make up some ground in the division race, this is it.

The Reds are still a legitimate threat in the division, and it’s all because of their All-Star outfielders in Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker. Castellanos is in the race for the AL batting title with a .324 average, while Winker has hit 19 home runs and posted a .929 OPS. They’re the anchors of one of the better offenses in baseball.

However, neither of the All-Stars lead the team in WAR this season. Instead, that honor belongs to today’s starter, Wade Miley.

It’s time to put some respect on Miley’s name. Since May 19, Miley has made eight starts and pitched more than six innings in six of them while posting a 2.55 ERA. During this stretch, he’s struck out 40 while walking only 12, and the Reds are 6-2 in those starts.

Miley has his share of issues, but pitching to contact is not one of them. Miley throws a cutter and a changeup more than 75% of the time and posted a ridiculously low 32% hard-hit rate and 84.9 mph average exit velocity this season — both stats that rank in the top 10% of qualified pitchers.

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Brewers Making a Run Thanks to Pitching

Because their pitching is so insane, the Brewers can get hot in an instant. Milwaukee just needs to produce something on offense, and the pitching staff will win games.

Well, since June 1, the Brewers rank 12th in both OPS (.754) and wOBA (.328). As a result, the Brewers have won 24-of-35 contests and now lead the NL Central division by a considerable margin.

The Brewers should be buyers at the deadline. With another productive bat, Milwaukee should be considered NL Pennant contenders.

That’s mainly because of the starting rotation.

In fact, Milwaukee has the second-best starting pitching FIP (3.41) in MLB. Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes all have ERAs well under 2.50 and xwOBAs under .250. Meanwhile, Josh Hader headlines a back-half of a very productive bullpen. Between great starters and great late-game relievers, the Brewers can really shorten games.   

Unfortunately, today’s starter is not among the elite Brewers pitchers. Eric Lauer is the No. 5 starter, and he’s been nothing more than serviceable in his role — which is to give the top three in the rotation a rest.

Lauer is about as average as one can get. He’s a four-seam-heavy pitcher with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, and the Brewers are 4-4 in his starts this season.

Reds-Brewers Pick

The Reds boast a high-powered offense, while the Brewers lineup has found itself recently. However, neither team has found success against southpaws of late.

Both teams rank among the bottom 10 teams in OPS (CIN .700, MIL .650) and wOBA (CIN .310, MIL .291) against LHPs over the past month. So, while the two starting pitchers aren’t overly impressive, I think they have a chance to navigate the lineups with relative ease today.

Therefore, I’m leaning under in this game. The fact we’ve tracked sharp money on the under and we have an under-leaning umpire today (Doug Eddings, 257-225 lifetime) only reinforces my stance.

Our Action PRO model is projecting this total right around 8.5, and many books are still listing the total at 8.5. Therefore, I believe there’s value in playing the under 9 at -120 or better.

Pick: Under 9 (-120 or better)

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