Braves vs. Reds Pick MLB – July 19th

Jose Fernandez was sharp yesterday, fanning 14 batters, but his Marlins offense was unable to back him up as Aaron Nola made a nice return to early season form with six scoreless innings.  The Marlins rallied late to eventually prevail 3-2 in extra innings, but we fell one run short of our runline wager.  I should have trusted my other instinct, which was to stay on the UNDER side of the night and bank on Nola using the two weeks of rest as added fuel – which he did.

Alas, we will get back after it tonight and try to start a new winning streak with some nice series to select from.  We have Jake Arrieta trying to similarly rebound against an old foe in New York (not to mention Noah Syndergaard) in the night’s marquee matchup (on ESPN 7pm EST), the Nationals hosting the Dodgers and a cool interleague series with World Series dreams between the Giants and Red Sox.

Lots of good action tonight across MLB, but my favorite wager on the board lies with one of the less glamorous games on today’s docket.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Atlanta Braves +145 at Cincinnati Reds -155 (Total: 9)

Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Cody Reed (0-4, 8.59 ERA)

Let the good times roll and the fireworks ignite tonight in Cincinnati!  Great America Small Park has a pair of struggling young starters pitching on a warm summer night.  If the bats don’t get it done tonight, then a golden stat-padding opportunity will be sadly lost for a pair of teams with little left to do aside from pad the stats.

Even more offense-enticing tonight is the fact that two of the worst bullpens I have ever seen, especially Cincinnati’s, will likely be called upon to log some major innings this evening.  Cody Reed, only 23, has averaged just under five innings in his five major league starts.  I doubt he will see past the sixth, even if he has some success tonight.  Jenkins is making his second career start tonight, and the also-23 year old is unlikely to be stretched too far this evening either.

That leaves the ball in the hands of a pair of bullpens with combined ERA’s exceeding five.  Granted, the Braves offense is miserable.  They are last in the NL in runs scored and there 57 homeruns are 19 less than any other team in baseball.  But, tonight is their chance to have some fun.

Nine is a lofty total, and most books have this as high as 9.5.  But I am still going OVER tonight and think this could be a long one tonight in Cincinnati.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 9