With every passing day, the pressure and stress is getting higher for the Milwaukee Brewers. There isn’t much room to make mistakes at this point. They are trailing the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central by 4.5 games. The Brewers have been passed by the St. Louis Cardinals due to a hot run over the last month. It’s going to be tough to bypass the Cardinals and Cubs to get back to the top of the division.
However, they still have a second chance of reaching the postseason. They are currently in a heated battle in the wildcard race. As I write this, they’d be playing the Cardinals if the postseason started today. The game would be in St. Louis which would extend the battle of the NL Central to the play-in game.
The Cincinnati Reds are trying to finish up the season with their heads above water. The Cubs took care of the Reds with ease over the weekend, sweeping them in four games. Meanwhile, the Brewers were home in Milwaukee and won two of three against the Pirates. It’s going to be difficult to climb up the division when their rivals are winning ball games as well. When the Brewers were leading the NL Central, we said that if the bullpen holds up, the Brewers probably will as well. However, the bullpen has regressed and the team has come down with it.
In September, they’re going to need some help if they want to come from behind to win the NL Central. The Brewers have to focus on preserving that wildcard before all else, though. It’s the more realistic route for them to take to the postseason. There are three teams behind the Brewers within 3 games, so it could get tight in September. Get our free Reds vs. Brewers pick for Tuesday on the diamond below.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Junior Guerra (6-8, 3.72 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (6-4, 4.26 ERA)
The Brewers have to do exactly what the Cubs did to the Reds the past few days. The sweep put the Reds on a five-game losing streak and losers in six of their last seven games. Joey Votto got injured and what was a team playing average baseball went to bad quickly. Not only is Votto one of the best bats in baseball, his presence out of the lineup takes away a leader for the Reds.
It was his comments about how frustrated he was with the team that got them going. Before that, the Reds were playing some of the worst baseball in the majors. Votto was expected to return Sunday but that was pushed back. The Reds are hopeful he plays against the Brewers tonight, however, that’s still very questionable.
Anthony DeSclafani will get the nod for the Reds on Tuesday evening. DeSclafani has been adequate for the Reds this season. In a year that they had to acquire Matt Harvey to help the rotation just be respectable, DeSclafani has been holding his own. He enters with an average 4.26 ERA and 4.21 ERA at home. DeSclafani is coming off a start against the Cubs where he allowed 8 hits and 4 earned runs across 6 innings of work. The Brewers have hit .250 against him in 44 at-bats.
Junior Guerra is coming off a solid outing against the Reds, allowing 2 earned runs across 5.1 innings. He got touched up at Wrigley a couple of starts ago for 6 runs, but looked fine in his most recent outing. His team let him down against the Reds the first go-around, as the Reds scored 7 runs in total, of which only 2 were credited to him.
After playing some decent baseball for a stretch, the Reds have been getting pushed around recently. The Brewers must play well against the Reds and pick up wins against inferior opponents when the opportunity is presented. This should be a better game than anticipated, but the Brewers likely edge out the Reds at the Great American Ball Park. If Votto isn’t in the starting lineup again Tuesday night this play looks better.