Braves Worn Out Bullpen Gives Reds the Edge for Thursday's MLB Picks

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:44 PM GMT

The Braves are hoping to get back on track after dropping their last two as they begin a four-game set with the Reds. As we peruse the MLB odds we look to find the right side in our MLB picks tonight. 

Cincinnati Reds (10-11, -0.7 units)
The Reds were seeking a sweep of their three-game set with Milwaukee but Ryan Braun picked last night to awake from his offensive slumber by blasting a grand slam to complement his solo homerun en route to an 8-3 Milwaukee victory. Cincinnati now travels to Atlanta to embark upon a four-game series to face the Braves for the first time this season.

Mike Leake takes the bump for the Reds and his club has lost his last three starts with the latest casualty coming at the hands of the Chicago Cubs and their ace Jon Lester. Leake pitched well enough surrendering only four hits through seven full innings but two of those hits were homerun shots and was chased after allowing three runs. Ultimately Cincinnati bowed 7-3 but Leake did not get charged for the loss. He will have to avoid the long ball tonight if he is to come up on the winning end of this one.

 

Atlanta Braves (10-11, +0.7 units)
Shelby Miller hopes to stay on track and get his fifth consecutive win but he will have to start going deeper into games if he is to maintain his winning ways. The sixth inning has been Miller’s maximum stint this season, however he has yet to allow more than two runs or five hits in any of his four starts. The 24-year-old Houston native kept the Blue Jays in check on April 19th which led to his team’s 5-2 victory rewarding all those who backed the Reds as +160 underdogs in their MLB picks walk away with money in their pockets. In his last outing he kept the mojo intact as he pitched the Reds to an identical 5-2 victory over the Phillies as -115 betting favorites in MLB odds.

The Braves are hoping he can propel them out of the funk that has seen them lose seven of their last nine games. Atlanta was slammed for 13 runs in each of their last two games against the Nationals and will look for sound pitching and defense to resuscitate them from their current tailspin. The Braves are 4-0 in Miller’s last four starts and 5-2 in their last seven games against the Reds.

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MLB Picks:
The way Shelby Miller has been pitching contrasted with Mike Leake’s three game losing streak it would be easy to blindly throw money at the Braves but the MLB odds on this one tell a different tale and for a very good reason. Depending upon where you shop this game is a virtual coin flip in terms of the MLB odds and that is because Mike Leake, though saddled with one loss and two no decisions over his last three, has not pitched nearly as poorly as his current record would indicate. He was charged with a loss in his April 19th start against the Cardinals when he was outdueled by one of the premier pitchers in the game, Adam Wainright, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat. Yet Leake allowed only four hits on two earned runs through eight full. It was a brilliant effort but one that will only be illustrated by a loss on his record.

Although Atlanta’s Shelby Miller has been on a tear for Atlanta it must be noted that although he goes good he doesn’t go long. I imagine this Braves’ bullpen is worn out after getting blasted for 26 runs over their last two games and if Miller holds true to form and makes another early exit the flood gates could open. I’m backing hard-luck pitcher Mike Leake and the Reds in this one.

MLB Pick: Cincinnati -101 at GTBets