MLB Baseball Betting: Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds

MLB Baseball Betting:  Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds

Any Cincinnati office worker who gets the idea to skip out of work and catch this afternoon game at the Great American Ball Park will be seeing arguably the worst possible matchup in Major League Baseball. He’ll need beer–a lot of beer–to get through this one. The Atlanta Braves are for the moment all alone in the MLB basement with only 32 wins on the year (all records pending Tuesday’s results). The Braves have ‘competition’–there are four other teams with fewer than 40 wins on the season including the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds have started to ‘right the ship’ of late. More appropriately, they’ve taken advantage of a schedule that is serving up three straight series at home against miserable teams. They took 2 of 3 from Milwaukee over the weekend, beat Atlanta 8-2 in the first game of this series and will await the Arizona Diamondbacks–who just miss the ‘less than 40’ cut with a 40-53 record–in their next series. The Reds are 15-15 +3.3 units against opponents with losing records this year. Atlanta, on the other hand, is 8-20 -10.6 units. The Braves are now a ‘measuring stick’ for futility. No team wants to lose to the Braves.

The Braves have struggled against left handed pitching all year (10-25 -9.1 units) and after facing southpaws in the first two games of this series they finally get a right handed pitcher on the mound for the Reds. The bad news? It’s the very talented Anthony Desclafani who is the best pitcher on the team and (depending who you listen to) either the foundation of the rotation for the future or valuable trade bait. Desclafani got a late start to the season due to injury but he’s been very solid. Overall he’s got a 2.55 ERA in 7 starts–5 of which were Cincinnati Reds. He’s 3-0 at the GABP this season with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.100 WHIP. His last two starts have been decent, though not great. Of course the Reds did win both of those games.

Atlanta will start former Houston Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell whom they picked up in late May. Harrell is a real life Kenny Powers (though a bit more refined). He spent last season in Korea and is trying to get his career back on track. So far so good–the Braves have won 2 of his 3 starts though he’s coming off his worst showing of the year giving up 5 ER at Colorado on 7/15. Before that he allowed just 7 hits and 2 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings of work in two Braves wins.

Desclafani is the best pitcher in this game but the price on the Reds is too high. He’s struggled against the Braves during the past two seasons (1-2 with a 5.27 ERA and a 2.048 WHIP. We’ll take the price on the Braves.