Braves vs. Reds Game 2 to go 'Over' the Total

Ross Benjamin

Friday, August 22, 2014 12:59 PM GMT

Our sports handicapping expert Ross Benjamin analyzes the game between the Braves and Reds this evening. Read what he has to say about honing in on the total in this game before you do your MLB betting today.

Proverbial Spoiler versus Contender
The Reds will host the Braves tonight in Cincinnati with the first pitch slated for 7:10 PM ET. According to MLB betting odd the Reds are a -135 money line home favorite and the posted total is 7.5. The Braves have won all 3-games between these clubs in 2014. The Reds have virtually played themselves out of playoff contention over the last 10-days, and will look to play spoiler in this series versus an Atlanta team clinging to their playoff hopes.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":286415, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Minor with Major Recent Struggles
The Braves starter Mike Minor has been a major disappointment this season going just 9-10 against the money with a lofty 5.36 ERA. He’s really been on a downward spiral over his past 6-starts posting a large 7.42 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. The good news is that he was 2-0 versus Cincinnati in 2013 with a 1.93 ERA.

 

Abbreviated Campaign for Latos
Matt Latos started the season on the disabled list, and since his return he’s been solid, with a 3.10 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP in 12-starts. Latos will be facing a Braves team tonight which has an OBP of .307 on the year. The Reds hurler has seen 12 of his 14-starts go under the total during the past 3-seasons, when facing a National League opponent with an OBP of .315 or less. Latos has 4-career starts at home versus the Braves, and compiled a very good 3.04 ERA in those outings.

 

Braves Primed for a Late Playoff Push
Atlanta entered this series with a 66-61 record, and 1.5 games behind San Francisco for the final wild card spot in the National League. They also had won 5 of their last 6 heading into the series opener on Thursday evening. The Braves have 34-games left to play in the regular season, and 24 of the 34 will be versus teams with a winning percentage of .500 or less. Tonight will be their 5th of a 10-game in 10-day road trip. This road is critical in their quest for the playoffs since once it’s complete, they will play 16 of their next 25-games at home, and then close with a 3-game series at Philadelphia which is currently in the NL East basement.

 

Reds Fall off the Playoff Radar
The Reds have pretty much sealed their playoff fate by losing 8 of their last 9, and 10 of the last 12-games. With just 33-games left to play they’re 6.5-games out of the final playoff spot, and have 3 other contending teams (Pirates, Braves, and Marlins) between them, and the team they’re all chasing the San Francisco Giants. The Reds have gone over the total in their previous 5, and 7 of the last 8-games. They’ve managed to lose their last 5-games despite averaging 5.2 runs per game. The Reds have allowed 5 runs or more in 7 of their last 8-games.

 

Final Analysis
The Braves were hitting a robust .286 as a team over their last 7-games prior to the start of this series. I don’t have a lot of faith in the Atlanta starter Mike Minor based on his recent performances line. The Reds haven’t had much difficulty generating offense lately they just haven’t prevented their opponents from scoring a plethora of runs. I like this one to play on the high side of the number.

Free MLB Pick: Braves/Reds to go Over 7.5 at 5Dimes