Cincinnati goes for the sweep of Milwaukee and this would have been an automatic sports pick until the Reds announced they were bringing up a pitcher from the minors for today.
This changed the sportsbooks betting odds and at least in theory made this more of a division confrontation which could go either way.
Milwaukee Being Accused of Going Through the Motions
Losing is never fun, be it with MLB picks or on a major league baseball team. After last night’s loss, the Brewers are 4-17 and easily the worst wager in the game at -14.1 units. Anyone can see Milwaukee’s pitching has been deplorable in surrendering 5.48 per game. Whether they are trying too hard because the offense has been so bad or whatever the reason, the bottom line is collectively the pitching staff has not done its job.
What fans of the team see is something different. Milwaukee is averaging 3.0 runs per game, with only Philadelphia worse. And nothing makes a team appear more lifeless than groundball outs, easy fly ball outs and taking called third strikes inning after inning. To fans, this gives the impression of players just realizing their squad is not very good and going thru the motions and team starts to get defensive.
"It's tough to stomach," losing pitcher Kyle Lohse said after Tuesday's 4-2 defeat. "No one in here is giving up. It would be one thing if you see guys going out there and they don't care. We care." They probably do but are not playing that way and the last team in the NL to start 4-18 was the 1997 Chicago Cubs.
Reds Rebounding Courtesy of Milwaukee
If timing is everything than Cincinnati has it as they are back to a .500 club at 10-10 (+0.6 units). What the Reds have done is take advantage of a situation that was presented to them at this time.
Cincy is 5-1 against Milwaukee this month and they have not only beaten them, they have massacred them by a total score of 39-24. As a MLB baseball handicapper you have to look beyond the obvious numbers and the Reds offense has not been nearly as good as it has appeared against the Brewers, because in their other 14 contests they are averaging only 3.0 runs per contest.
But that information is about their next series and beyond and facing Matt Garza today, key Cincinnati hitters Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Marlon Byrd are batting a combined .250 against him.
Pitching Matchup – Garza vs. Lorenzen
Matt Garza (1-3, 5.16 ERA) is trying to find his form after yielding 28 hits and 11 walks over 22 2/3 innings this season. The walks are the big issue since when the right-hander gets frustrated, he overthrows his 89-94 MPH fastball and squeezes his curve and slider and cannot hit his spots. Often his own worst enemy, Garza is 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA against Cincinnati but did beat them twice last year.
This will be major league debut of right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who will replace the injured Homer Bailey. The hard-throwing, 23-year-old Lorenzen went 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA at Triple-A Louisville. He’s known for a mid-90’s fastball, a slider with bite and a changeup which is still in the works. He still needs to work on greater command and the organization is going to great lengths to improve his endurance. "We've had our sights set on Michael for some time," manager Bryan Price told MLB's official website. "He came in and threw the ball really well in spring, maybe not statistically, but the ball came out of his hand really well. We think he's mature and ready to handle this type of challenge."
Odds and Outcome
Once the pitching change was made official, the opening MLB odds had Cincinnati at -108 with the total of under 7.5. Since that release the Reds have been bet up to -118 or higher.
Milwaukee will certainly have a chance to salvage one game versus a rookie pitcher, yet the facts show they are 1-7 on the road this season and they have lost 16 of 21 at Great American Ball Park since 2013.
MLB Free Pick – Cincinnati wins