MLB Picks: DeSclafani Gives Reds the Edge Against Braves in Friday's Game 2

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, May 1, 2015 3:14 PM UTC

Friday, May. 1, 2015 3:14 PM UTC

The Reds and Braves play their second game of their 4-game weekend set. The Reds are listed as the favorites in tonight's match, even though none of the teams have done much to justify taking them with our MLB picks.

Cincinnati Reds (DeSclafani) (-120) vs. Atlanta Braves (Foltynewicz) 7:35 ET
On Friday May 1st, the Reds and Braves play the second of their 4-game weekend set at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Reds are the favorites tonight according to the MLB odds makers. Last night, the Reds took the first game of the series (5-1) behind the strong pitching of Mike Leake.  He held the Braves to just 2 hits in 8 IP of work.  Tonight, the Reds send emerging pitching star, DeSclafani, to the hill in hopes of matching that Game 1 victory.

After starting the season (5-0), the Braves have begun to play more like the team who is expected to win just 74 games this season.  Since that start, the Braves are on negative runs of 5-12 and 2-8. They have hit just 4 HRs in their last 11 games. Starting the week, the Braves had the best bullpen in the National League with a 172 relief index. This week, however, the Braves’ bullpen has allowed 18 runs in 12 IP, resulting in a total of 40 runs allowed in their last 5 games.  Today’s starter is Foltynewicz.  Not sure he will be the answer!  Last year, in 16 games with Houston, he had a 5.30 ERA.  He failed to make the Braves’ rotation in the spring, going 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA. Filling in for ineffective starter, Cahill, he will have a chance to prove his mettle against an emerging Cincinnati offense.

Little more was expected of the Reds than in their 76 win season of last. That losing record came after a combined 187 wins the previous 2 years. But, the Redlegs are currently in a bit of an uptick with a recent 3-1 mark in which they have scored 21 runs.  The dormant bats have bombed 10 HRs in the previous 3 games.  Not that they will need to do much scoring, if the current form of DeSclafani continues.  For the YTD, the young, right hander is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA and .154 BAA.  

Each of these teams is in decline, coming off losing seasons after winning 90+ games the previous 2 years. Tonight, however, it is the Reds who are in better current form as a team and clearly have the pitching advantage with DeSclafani on the mound against a replacement starter for the Braves, who have a faltering bullpen. For your MLB pick, lay the short price on the road with Cincinnati, whose 5 road wins are more than Atlanta has at home.

MLB Pick: Take  Cincinnati Reds (-120)

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