The Cincinnati Reds say goodbye to the Cubs with a pretty good taste in their mouth, as they dispatched the Cubs for an 8-6 win on Sunday. The bullpen did their best to blow the game in the 9th inning, but 3 runs wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit. Fortunately, the Reds tacked on 4 insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th in another lapse by a bullpen.
It’s expected that things might get a little crazy late in games. The in-game wagering can be a goldmine for teams who are trailing in the 7th inning on. Bookmakers continue to put out crazy odds of like -300 in some instances for just a 1-run lead. With the way bullpens have been pitching, there are opportunities out there to select the team who are down to complete a small comeback.
In any case, the bullpen is usually a bright point for the Reds. It’s the one unit that kept them in conversations earlier in the season when things were cold for the offense. Now, the Reds really need the offense to pull a lot of the weight in the second-half.
Yesterday was a good look at the plate for the Reds, but this was after they were scoreless in a 6-0 game the day before. They’ve been too inconsistent throughout the first three months of the regular season. That is going to have to change. Despite the win yesterday, it was only their second in seven games.
A strong performance against the Brewers would help gain some confidence back. The Brewers are coming off three straight wins over the Pirates, as they were winners in three of four games. It was a close one yesterday, but they got a clutch run in the 8th to take down the Pirates in Milwaukee. Adrian Houser will be making just his fourth start this year and in the major leagues tonight. He’s been solid out of the bullpen, though it hasn’t translated well in the rotation. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Reds pick.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Reds may be five games below .500 at 38-43, but they are still only 5.5 games behind the Cubs and Brewers for 1st in the NL Central. The Cubs and Brewers go into this week in a tie at a record of 45-39. In other words, this division hasn’t been too good this season, but it’s been close and is likely going to provide some drama later in the season. Every team, including the last place Reds, are in play to win the division still. That’s a lot more than you can say about other divisions across the majors.
Adrian Houser got promoted to make another start, as the Brewers continue to look for options to complete their rotation. There are so many pitchers available out there in the market that it would be a surprise if the Brewers don’t add a new arm for the rotation. Houser has had three chances as a starting pitcher and it hasn’t gone too well.
He’s posted an ERA of 9.00 with a .488 OBA and 2.50 WHIP in three outings as a starter. In his most recent outing, Houser allowed 4 hits and 3 earned runs in 2 innings. His control was all over the place, walking 3 batters as well. Combined with his stint in the bullpen, Houser owns a 3.72 ERA and 1.40 WHIP on the road.
Houser opened the season starting a game and he got rocked by the Cardinals for 9 hits and 5 runs in St. Louis. That experiment ended quickly and Chase Anderson was quickly added back to the rotation. So, from what we’ve seen so far, Houser has been capable as a reliever, but hasn’t shown he has the ability to consistently play in a starting role.
Conversely, Mahle has made 15 starts this season and has been serviceable. He’s certainly been above average at home in Cincinnati, where he has posted an ERA of 2.96 and 1.13 WHIP. Mahle hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in any game at home this year. The Reds’ bullpen ranks as one of the best in the majors, with a 3.57 ERA which is good for 2nd in the majors behind Tampa. This appears to be a pretty decent price on the Reds at home all things considered.